St. Thomas’ Day School
Policies and Procedures
Allergies are one of the primary health concerns at St. Thomas’ Day School. Please make sure that your child’s allergies are listed on the Student Information Forms. In the case of food allergies, please indicate whether the allergies are severe or mild. ALL children who have a food allergy marked on their Emergency Information Form, must provide their own snack for school parties. For those of you who have children with peanut allergies, we are a NUT FREE school.
Backpacks are one of the tools that we use to help your child learn the responsibility of caring for and locating his or her belongings. They are also used for communication between home and school. Please use, check, and empty daily the folder we will be using for communication. This folder helps keep papers from getting lost in the backpack. Folders are checked daily in each classroom. The Before Kindergarten class children are responsible for managing the items in their backpacks independently. The Beginners and Intermediate class teachers will assist the children in managing their backpacks. Art projects, monthly newsletters, notes from your child’s teacher, accident reports and announcements of special events will be sent home in your child’s folder. Backpacks should be full size as to accommodate all of your child’s papers and art projects.
Birthday Parties are a source of great celebration at St. Thomas’ Day School. Parents are invited to send in a special snack on or near your child’s birthday. All party food sent into the school must be store bought, (No homemade treats). Summer birthdays are celebrated with a “group party” near the end of the year. We also ask that parents do not send in balloons or hard candy for party treats.
Book Clubs St. Thomas’ Day School participates in the preschool division of Scholastic Book Clubs. Simply indicate your selection on the order form in the flyers and return the flyers to school with a check made payable to Scholastic Book Clubs, or order online using code HKTLD. It is our hope that these reading clubs will encourage us all to read, learn and enjoy good literature!
Calendar dates are set for the school year and are publicized through this handbook, newsletters, website, and weekly parent communications. If you have questions about the school calendar, please contact your child’s teacher or the day school director.
Virginia law requires Car or Booster Seats for all children under age eight. We are prohibited by law from allowing a child to ride in a car without a proper car seat. Please arrive at school with your child restrained properly. Children must be properly restrained when the cars are moving.
Morning Drop-off Please come to glass doors facing the parking lot for morning drop off. A staff member will be there to greet your child and take them to their classroom. If a staff member is not present, please wait until they return, or ring the video camera. Do not send your child in by themselves. During social distancing times, we ask that you come up the ramp, and leave by the stairs. Please keep 6 feet between you and other Day School families while you are waiting to be
checked in. We will try to make this process go as quickly as possible, but if we find that the process is taking too long, we will stagger the drop off and pick up times to help alleviate a wait at the door. Please remember to enter the parking lot from Walton Avenue and exit onto Hawthorne Avenue in your car.
Pick Up Please come to the doors where you dropped off in the morning to pick up your child. The same procedures will be followed for pick up as we use for drop off.
Procare Connect The Day School is using Procare Connect for our center this year. This will allow you to sign your child in/out electronically, receive updates and communicate with teachers, and will allow you to make payments by registering a credit/debit card, or by setting up automatic draft from your bank account.
Change of Clothing Please send a change of clothing including shoes, socks and underwear, labeled with your child’s name, to school at the beginning of the year. This clothing will be kept in your child’s cubby and can be used if his or her clothing becomes soiled. Sweatpants or leggings, a t-shirt and a sweatshirt will cover all the seasons.
Class Lists are provided at the beginning of the school year. These lists are updated through weekly parent communications and are helpful for arranging carpools and play dates. Please keep the class lists in an accessible place in your home so that you may refer to them as needed. These lists are provided to enhance communication between parents. Please do not use them for solicitation for business or profit.
Communication between home and school is an important piece of your child’s early education. Teachers welcome notes from home, messages on Procare Connect, phone calls and email correspondence. If you have a matter to discuss with your child’s teachers in person, please schedule an appointment to meet. Also, please inform us of any updates of new addresses, phone numbers, emails, etc....
Early Arrival Registration Regular school hours are 9AM - 12:00 Noon. Early Arrival Registration is available from 8:30 - 9:00 AM. A supervised playtime is offered for children who need to arrive before 9:00 AM. The cost is $25 per month for children attending 4 or 5 days per week and $20 per month for children attending 3 days per week. Daily rates are $3 per day.
Extended Day Option This program is offered until 1:00 pm, Monday-Friday for an additional $5 per day. Space must be reserved in advance. You may reserve specific days for the year, or it can be used as an occasional drop off if space is available. On days that your child is enrolled in the Extended Day Program, please send in a larger NUT FREE snack/small lunch for your child. The Day School staff is not able to refrigerate or heat up any snacks or lunches, so please use an ice pack and thermos when needed. If your child is scheduled to stay and your plans have changed, please let us know immediately so other families may use the service. If you cancel the morning of your scheduled day, and your child is attending school that day you will be charged for the spot. If your child is out sick and you notify us, you will not be charged for the day.
Enrollment for the 2021-2022 school year will open to currently enrolled children, their siblings and relatives, alumni families and church members on February 1, 2021. Enrollment is open to the public on February 15, 2021 when the priority enrollment period ends.
Late Pickup is problematic for children and teachers. Children become worried and insecure when all the other children have gone home and there is a question about their parents’ whereabouts. Teachers’ workdays are extended and many of our teachers must leave on time to pick up their own children from a school program. Pick up time is 12:00 pm if you are not staying for the Extended Day Program. Pick up time is 1:00 pm if you are staying for the Extended Day Program. If you are delayed because of an emergency, please call Kelly’s cell phone, 804- 305-9326 or Joan’s cell, 804-283-2514. While we want to be sensitive to emergencies, families who are chronically late (3 times during a school year) to pick up their children will be charged $25 per incident.
Newsletters are published monthly beginning in October. They contain classroom updates, announcements of coming events. The newsletters are sent electronically during the early part of each month and posted on the website.
Parent Coffees will be held on November 20, 2020 and February 5, 2021 from 8:30-9:15am. Parents attending can drop their children off for Early Time at no additional charge. These are open to all parents of the Day School and serve as a great way to meet other families.
Parent Communication Forms are sent home weekly with information pertaining to your child’s class. Included are themes for the current and upcoming weeks, special events, items that need to be brought in from home and reminders of holidays and schedule changes.
Safety and security are top priorities at St. Thomas’ Day School. Outside and inside doors are always locked unless a staff member is checking students in/out. If you are arriving late, please press the buzzer/camera and a member of the Day School staff will meet you at the door to check in your child. On the playground, teachers are wearing emergency fobs and position themselves in ways that children are clearly visible and unsupervised exit can be prohibited. If a child is to ride home with someone who is not a parent, a written note or email is to be sent to the teachers. Photo Identification will be requested if the Day School staff does not know the person.
School Closings St. Thomas’ Day School policy for unscheduled inclement weather closings is based upon Richmond Public Schools’ closing decisions. In the case of inclement weather, when Richmond Public Schools are delayed one hour, St. Thomas’ Day School will open at 9:00AM with no early time program. If the delay is two hours, St. Thomas’ Day School will open at 10:00AM with no early time program. When Richmond Public School is closed, St. Thomas Day School will also be closed. The Day School will only make up missed days due to weather if Richmond Public Schools makes up days. We have factored snow days into our calendar by remaining open 6 days with our regular schedule on days that Richmond Public Schools have early dismissal, professional learning/teacher workdays, and conferences. The Day School will not extend a school day or school year. In the case of a public health crisis such as Covid-19, the Day School will follow the guidelines from the Department of Health and CDC in regards to closings. If the Day School needs to close for 2 consecutive weeks, full tuition will be due. If the Day
School needs to close for 3-4 consecutive weeks, 50% tuition will be due. If the Day School needs to close for over 4 consecutive weeks, no tuition will be due. If a family would like to make a tax deductible donation, a receipt will be issued for tax purposes.
CHANGE FOR 2020-2021 SCHOOL YEAR- Since RPS is starting the year virtually St. Thomas’ Day School will decide on inclement weather closings using local weather forecasts, and will notify the families of any changes to the regular schedule. When RPS returns to offering in person instruction, the Day School will follow their decisions for weather related closings.
Snacks are to be sent daily from home, or you may choose to send in bulk snacks to be stored at school for your child. Please do not send candy or snacks that contain nuts since St. Thomas’ is a “nut free zone”. Water is served with the snacks and children are requested not to bring any additional drink from home. Please send the snacks in a disposable wrapping or in a container clearly labeled with your child’s name. If you are sending grapes or other similar shaped food, please make sure they are cut in half lengthwise to prevent choking.
St. Thomas’ Church considers St. Thomas’ Day School to be an outreach mission to the community. It welcomes all Day School families to participate in the ongoing life of the church. Childcare is provided for most church activities and services. Please contact the church office at 804-321-9548 if you would like to know more information about the church.
123 Magic In the classroom we are using a program loosely based and adapted from 1-2- 3Magic by Thomas W. Phelan, Ph.D. and Sarah Jane Schonour M.A. For each child, the teacher will count the inappropriate behavior(s). If a child gets a 1, it is a reminder to follow the rules. If a child gets a 2, they decide if they will continue with the inappropriate behavior or choose to follow the rule. If a child gets a 3, they will take “thinking time” and think about their behavior. (1 minute per the child’s age) Once a child completes their “thinking time”, the child then has a clean slate and starts back at the beginning.
*NOTE: certain behaviors will result in an automatic 3 and “thinking time”
(ex. Kicking, biting, hitting, etc....)
Toilet Learning is an important developmental step in the life of preschool children. St. Thomas’ Day School recognizes that children learn and practice this skill when they are ready, and that readiness occurs at different times for each child. Therefore, St. Thomas’ Day School does not have a policy about when toilet learning is to take place. Please communicate with your child’s teachers about specific toilet learning needs. If your child is used to using flushable wipes at home, feel free to send them for their use at school.
Toys are an integral part of the play curriculum at St. Thomas’ Day School. The school owns a well-organized collection of toys that has been growing for over thirty years. Each year new toys are added, and old toys are discarded or donated to a charity. Because each classroom has their own toys which are disinfected daily, children are asked to leave their personal toys from home at home or in their cars.
Tuition Yearly tuition is due by July 15, 2020. If you are paying Bi-Yearly, the first installment is due July 15, 2020 and the second installment is due January 5, 2021. If you are paying monthly, the first payment is due July 15, 2020. The second payment is due at Open House and all additional payments are due by the 5th of the month (October-April). Monthly rates reflect a $5 per month processing fee. When the 5th falls on a weekend or holiday, payment will be considered timely when paid by the first day your child attends after the 5th. Families may set up online payment using Procare Connect. A $25 late charge will be due for all late monthly payments unless arrangements have been made with the Director. A 10% overall discount is offered to all families
with more than one child enrolled. If your plans have changed after enrollment, we ask for a 30- Day Written notice which will terminate any further financial obligation to the school. Since we do not require a contract, the July payment which guarantees your child's spot in the 2020/2021 school year is NOT refundable, but no further payments will be due after your written notice is given.
Wellness is a primary concern at St. Thomas’ Day School. At the start of each day, we do a health screening on each child as they arrive at school. Hands are washed often with soap and water, and disposable products are used when consuming food or drink. Toys and classrooms are disinfected daily.
Our sick day policy for a non-pandemic/ public health emergency time (based on CDC recommendations) requires a child stay home if he/she:
● Has a fever of 100.4 or higher
● Has been vomiting or has diarrhea (within 24 hours)
● Sore Throat if you suspect a strep infection, even without fever
● Drainage from an ear or eye (may indicate infection)
● Severe Cough
● Frequent Sneezing and Coughing
24 Hour Rule
● Fever: Keep your child home until his or her FEVER has gone WITHOUT medicine for
24 hours. Colds can be contagious for at least 48 hours. Returning to school too soon may
slow recovery and make others sick.
● Vomiting or Diarrhea: Keep your child home for 24 hours after the last time he or shevomited or had diarrhea.
● Antibiotics: Keep your child home until 24 hours after the First Dose of antibiotic for
anything like an ear infection, strep, etc...
During a Pandemic/Public Health Emergency Time Such as Covid-19, policies will be stricter and a sick child may be required to stay home for a longer period. We will follow the CDC and VDH guidelines for updates concerning recommendations on isolating at home while having symptoms consistent with a Public Health Emergency such as Covid-19. These policies can be found in our Pandemic Handbook and will be updated as needed.
Occasionally a child will become ill at school. When this occurs, we will take the child out of the classroom away from the other children and call a parent or emergency contact person to come and pick up the child who is sick. We check regularly for lice and will send a child home immediately if it is suspected that a child has lice. Children must be nit free in order to return to school after they have been treated for lice.