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. 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 you are given at open house. This folder helps keep papers from getting lost in the backpack. Folders are checked daily in each classroom. The four and five year old class children are responsible for managing the items in their backpacks independently. The mixed aged and two and three day 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 bring a special snack on or near your child’s birthday. All food brought in the school must be store bought, (No homemade treats). Summer birthdays are celebrated with a “group party” near the end of the year. If possible, we ask that school birthday parties be scheduled at 11:30 AM. We also ask that parents do not bring balloons to distribute at the party.
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 Seatsfor 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 to school with your child restrained properly. Children should stay in their car seat and buckled in during carpool. Children must be properly restrained when the cars are moving.
Car Pool Line at St. Thomas’ Day School furthers your child’s growth and self-sufficiency. As your child learns to gather his or her belongings from the car and walk down the hall to the classroom, he or she is developing important self-help skills. This system where parents form a “car line” and pull up to the Day School, facilitates minimal activity and minimal risk in the parking lot. Please remember to enter the parking lot from Walton Avenue and exit onto Hawthorne Avenue. Children should be properly restrained in their car seat when arriving to school. Please refrain from passing in the car pool line and talking on cell phones once car pool has started. The day school staff will try to expedite the process but SAFETY is always our top priority. (If you choose not to utilize the car pool line, please park on Hawthorne or Walton Avenue and walk with your child to the ramp.) Small children and moving vehicles can be a dangerous combination. If you are walking to pick up or drop off your child, please do not congregate on the sidewalk or near the door to talk to the other parents. The playground is a nice place to visit one another. We appreciate your cooperation in ensuring safety for all!
Change of Clothing Please send a change of clothing including socks and underwear, if potty trained, labeled with your child’s name, to school at the beginning of the year. This clothing will be kept in your child’s classroom and can be used in the event that his or her clothing becomes soiled. Sweat pants or leggings, a t-shirt and a sweatshirt will cover all of 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 and quickupdates at carpool time as well as email correspondence. If you have a matter to discuss with your child’s teachers in person, please schedule an appointment to meet during early time (8:30 am-8:55 am), before the regular school day begins. We welcome your input and ask you to help us protect the teachers’ time in the classroom for the very important task of teaching and learning with your children. If you have a matter that your child’s teacher needs to be aware of, please write a note and put it in your child’s folder or give it to the car pool teacher in the morning. 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 free playtime is offered for children who need to arrive before 9:00 AM. The cost is $25 per month for children in a M-F class, $20 per month for children in a MWF class, and $15 per month for the children in the TR class. Daily rates are $3 per day. Monthly early arrival fees may be included with tuition checks.
Extended Day Option You may choose to enroll your child in the Extended Day Option which is offered Monday-Friday until 2:00pm. The cost of this program is an additional $10 per day. It is limited to 16 enrolled students. If openings are available, this can also be used as an occasional service. 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. On the days that your child is enrolled in the Extended Day Program, please send in a NUT FREE lunch for your child. Pick up will either be at the playground (weather permitting) or you must come in and pick up your child. Carpool is not offered for extended day. If you choose to stay on the playground to play after you pick your child up from Extended Day, please move to the side where the tire swing is located until all children are picked up.
Enrollment for the 2020-2021 school year will open to currently enrolled children, their siblings and relatives, alumni families and church members on February 1, 2020. Enrollment is open to the public on February 15, 2020 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’ work days are extended and many of our teachers have to leave on time to pick up their own children from a school program. Please make every effort to be on time to pick up your child after preschool. Pick up time is from 12:00-12:15 if you are not staying for the Extended Day Program. Pick up time is 2:00 pm if you are staying for the Extended Day Program. If you are delayed because of an emergency, please call Kelly’s cell phone @ 305-9326 or Joan’s cell 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 22, 2019and February 7,2020 from 9:15-10:00am. These are open to all parents of the Day School and serve as a great way to meet other families and talk about issues related to your children.
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.
Parent Volunteers are invaluable to St. Thomas’ Day School. Willing and able parents enhance our program. Parents are invited to complete the Parent Volunteer Survey, which is provided at Open House.
Play clothes are the appropriate dress for Day School children. The children often interact with the art and learning materials “in an exuberant fashion” and clothes may become soiled. Please do not dress your child in clothing that you do not wish to be stained or soiled. Concern about “staying clean and neat” interferes with the children’s preschool experience. Also, please make sure your child wears “safe” shoes. Safe shoes are those that tie, buckle, or have Velcro, and do not have slippery bottoms. Please do not send your child in oversized Croc’s or Flip Flops or open-toe sandals. The children love to run and climb on the playground, and with the wrong shoes this can be a dangerous combination.
Safety and security are top priorities at St. Thomas’ Day School. Outside and inside doors are always locked. If you are arriving late, please press the buzzer/camera and a member of the Day School staff will allow you to enter the Day School. 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 The St. Thomas’ Day School policy for unscheduled closing is based upon Richmond Public Schools’ closing decisions. In the case of inclement weather, St. Thomas’ Day School will follow the direction of Richmond Public Schools. When Richmond Public Schools are delayed onehour, St. Thomas’ Day School will open at 9:00AM with no early time program. If the delay is twohours, St. Thomas’ Day School will open at 10:00AM and the extended day program will be offered. When Richmond Public School is closed, St. Thomas Day School will also be closed. The Day School will only make up missed days if Richmond Public Schools makes up days. We have factored snow days into our calendar by remaining open with our regular schedule on most days that Richmond Public Schools has early dismissal and two (2) days they are closed for conferences. The Day School will not extend a school day or school year.
Snacks are to be sent daily from home except on special party days. Nutritious, energy-boosting snacks such as fruit, cheese, crackers, or yogurt are suggested. Please do not send snacks that contain nuts for your child.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 based on 1-2-3 Magic 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. The day school staff will support and assist each child as the families inform them of their readiness and procedures at home. 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 nearly thirty years. Each year new toys are added and old toys are discarded or donated to a charity. Because the school owns many toys and because toys from home can be easily confused with school toys, children are asked to leave their personal toys from home at home or in their cars. In the event that a child needs a special toy to serve as a security object to aid in separating, please label the toy clearly with the child’s name.
Tuition Yearly tuition is due by July 15, 2019. If you are paying Bi-Yearly, the first installment is due July 15, 2019 and the second installment is due January 5, 2019. If you are paying monthly, the first payment is due July 15, 2019. The second payment is due at Open House and all additional payments are due by the 5thof the month (October-April). Monthly rates reflect a $5 per month processing fee. When the 5thfalls on a weekend or holiday, payment will be considered timely when paid by the first day your child attends after the 5th. 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 your financial obligation to the school.
Wellness is a primary concern at St. Thomas’ Day School. Hands are washed often with antibacterial soap and disposable products are used when consuming food or drinks. Toys are washed periodically and classrooms are disinfected daily. Disposable rubber gloves are worn by teachers when they change diapers or assist in toilet learning. Because preschool children socialize in very close physical proximity with one another and because many are building immunities for the first time, we are particularly careful to prevent the spread of infectious conditions. Children with fevers, profuse nasal discharge, persistent cough or diarrhea are to be kept at home where they can rest and recuperate. If a child has been fever free, diarrhea free, or not throwing up for at least 24 hours and feels well, he or she may return to school. Occasionally a child will become ill at school. 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.
We Care Group is an outreach group made up of day school parents. The group works on projects throughout the school year, which benefit families in our community. They help with the annual food drive, socks, gloves, and hat drive, and our annual fundraiser.