Message to Parents

Welcome to Scarsdale Friends Nursery School.  We are pleased that you have chosen our school for your child.

This handbook will cover many of the questions you have and describes the philosophy and policies of the school.  It is important you read this handbook and share it with those who are involved with your child and the nursery school.

Governance

Our school is under the care of Scarsdale Friends Meeting.  That means the Nursery School Committee (or Board) is made up of members of Scarsdale Friends Meeting.   The director sits on the committee ex-officio.  In the interest of keeping the nursery school families abreast of board activities and decisions, the committee has invited one parent to be a member of the committee.  This is a parent who can sit on the board for more than one year while her child is at the school.  The Parent Representative also acts as a liaison to the nursery school board, bringing any concerns from the parent body to the director and/or board.

Philosophy

Our school is guided by Quaker principals of nonviolence, respect for the individual, and by the spirit of Quaker Meeting which allows what is best in each person to be affirmed and nurtured.  Our program is designed to meet the needs of the children and to help them grow and develop at their own pace and in their own way.  In an atmosphere of warmth and acceptance, we foster self-esteem and positive social relationships while providing an intellectually stimulating environment.  Each child participates in activities that lead to the joy of observing, exploring, experimenting, discovering and creating.

Purpose

Scarsdale Friends Nursery School opened in 1954 under the care of Scarsdale Friends Meeting (see Governance).  Its purpose is to provide a preschool experience for children of Meeting members and the community.

Mission Statement

Our mission at Scarsdale Friends Nursery School is to acknowledge, respect and nurture each child individually and as part of a group.  We endeavor to provide each child with a skill set appropriate for his or her point along the developmental continuum and facilitate the next phase.  At Scarsdale Friends we partner with the families to helpus and help you create a safe and loving environment for the children.

Programs

Our classroom environments foster self directed play and critical thinking skills.  Guided by our knowledge of the developmental stages of each age group, their abilities, interests and needs, we provide the materials and support that extend the children’s own exploration and discovery.  The children engage in a variety of activities including art, music, cooking, dramatic play, language activities, science, mathematics, block building, and large motor play.

Our program integrates the five critical areas of development into each classroom. Each child is viewed independent of the other children so his/her needs can be assessed and met according to his/her abilities.

The five critical areas are:

Physical Development
Our programs are designed so that each classroom spends 1 to 2 periods of outdoor play.  Our playground and blacktop offer opportunities for the children to run, ride trikes, push push toys (for the 2 year olds), play in the sandbox and play cooperative games.  Large motor issues are addressed though our outdoor program.  Small motor skills are developed consistently in our classrooms with multiple daily activities such as puzzles, play dough and many other manipulative toys and games.
Social Development
A cornerstone of our program rests on our belief that the implementation of social development skills is the key to a successful nursery school program.  Each child enters the classroom with distinct play skills that we observe to best facilitate positive interactions. As the children work together in their classroom, we offer opportunities to introduce and extend their knowledge of cooperation, sharing, helping, turn taking, and being a part of a group.
Emotional Development
Our teachers have mastered the use of a “preschool language” which models, reflects and encourages expected and acceptable behavior for the child.  We use positive guidance as our method of encouraging positive social behavior eliminating negative behaviors (such as hitting). A child’s overall well-being is consistently monitored by our staff.
Cognitive Development
The centers in each classroom provide activities geared towards opening up the child’s mind to math, science, literature, and self and others.  Our specials such as cooking, nature, and music, and the classroom staple of play build on a child’s cognitive abilities.  In a meaningful context, children learn literacy and math concepts that lay the groundwork for successful learning in the elementary grades.
Language Development
Language and literacy are developed continuously throughout our program by listening to and reading stories, communication and conversation, rhyming, songs and dramatic play.  The program is rich in language content geared towards bringing the child to a higher level of understanding and communication.


The 10 Goals and 50 Curriculum Objectives for ages 3-5
From The Creative Curriculum

Social/Emotional Development
Sense of Self
1. Shows ability to adjust to new situation
2. Demonstrates appropriate trust in adults
3. Recognizes own feelings and manages them appropriately
4. Stands up for rights

Responsibility for Self and Others
5. Demonstrates self-direction and independence
6. Takes responsibility for own well-being
7. Respects and cares for classroom environment and materials
8. Follows classroom routines
9. Follows classroom rules

Prosocial Behavior
10.  Plays well with other children
11.   Recognizes the feelings of others and responds appropriately
12.   Shares and respects the rights of others
13.   Uses thinking skills to resolve conflicts

Physical Development
Gross Motor
14.   Demonstrates basic locomotor skills-jumping, running, hopping, galloping
15.   Shows balance while moving
16.   Climbs up and down
17.   Pedals and steers a tricycle (or other wheeled vehicle)
18.   Demonstrates throwing, kicking and catching skills
Fine Motor
19.   Controls small muscles of hand
20.   Coordinates eye-hand movement
21.   Uses tools for writing and drawing

Cognitive Development
Learning and Problem Solving
22.   Observes objects and events with curiosity
23.   Approaches problems flexibly
24.   Shows persistence in approaching tasks
25.   Explores cause and effect
26.   Applies knowledge of experience to a new context
27.   Classifies objects
28.   Compares/measures
29.   Arranges objects in a series
30.   Recognizes patterns and can repeat them
31.   Shows an awareness of time concept and sequence
32.   Shows awareness of position in space
33.   Uses one-to-one correspondence
34.   Uses numbers and counting

Representation and Symbolic Thinking
35.   Takes on pretend roles and situations
36.   Makes believe with objects
37.   Makes and interprets representations

Language Development Listening and Speaking Skills
38.   Hears and discriminates the sound of language
39.   Expresses self using words and expanded sentences
40.   Understands and follows oral directions
41.   Answers questions
42.   Asks questions
43.   Actively participates in conversations

Reading and Writing
44.   Enjoys and values reading
45.   Demonstrates understanding of print concepts
46.   Demonstrates knowledge of the alphabet
47.   Uses emerging reading skills to make meaning from print
48.   Comprehends and interprets meaning from books and text
49.   Understands the purpose of writing
50.   Writes letters and words

Program For Twos

The twos share many of the activity centers of the Threes classroom, such as a quiet/reading corner, art/manipulatives activity table, play dough table, kitchen/dramatic play, and free play area.  Twos need to feel as if their environment is responsive and predictable. The teachers establish a predictable routine that is followed each day they meet.  Twos are in the process of developing cognitive “maps” and “clocks” and need lots of repetition about the important happenings in their lives.  Twos like to feel strong and in control of as much of their environment as practical.  They need the kind of structure that alternates quiet and active play, regulates the level of stimulation they are receiving, and responds quickly and with a minimum of fuss to their frustration and fears.  Our teachers have learned how to tune in to each child’s behavior because a great deal of their communication is still nonverbal.  Twos need a great deal of freedom to move around as they incorporate movement into almost everything they do.  The program utilizes the room across the hall for indoor gross motor activities, extra music time and whole group activities. The child must be 2 years old upon entering school.

The Threes

Some of the Threes come to us from our Twos program, and for others, this is their first introduction to preschool.  The classroom and curriculum are carefully constructed for the developmental needs of the 3 year old.  The children engage in activities planned to engage the social-emotional, physical and intellectual energies of the child. The Threes meet Tuesday through Thursday, 9:00-11:45.  In a classroom with 10-11 students and 2 teachers, the intimate quality enhances the student-teacher relationship.  A small but important group identity emerges.

The Fours/Preschool Room

Generally speaking, the children in this class have already had preschool experience and will go off to Kindergarten the following September. The Four year olds meet Monday through Friday, with 14-16 children in the classroom with 3 teachers.  The Four Year Old Program is carefully planned to address the social-emotional, cognitive, and physical needs of the child.  Goals are developed for each child and integrated into the program, with strategies to compliment and challenge the child.  The Creative Curriculum is the basis for our program.  It’s system of “intentional teaching”  promotes learning across all the domains of development for  the 4 turning 5 year old child.

Classroom Policies

School begins at 9:00 for all classes and ends at 11:15 for the Twos, 11:45 for the Threes and 12:00 for the Fours.  The staff is not and cannot be responsible for the children before or after school hours.  The children are always welcome to utilize the playground and outdoor area before and after school hours, but always under parental supervision.  Please do not take out the trikes, cars and push toys that are put away every day after school.  Each age group has specific outdoor toys and it is not appropriate if after school hours all the age groups are out and using (including wear and tear) school property.

Our classrooms and material are designed and carefully planned for the children enrolled in the class.  We ask that you not permit siblings to engage in art activities or make use of the supplies intended for the students.  For the student, being in school is his or her special place and a time to share with his or her peers and not with siblings.

Please do not have conversations with other parents outside the classroom doors or in the classroom.  This is disruptive to the activities taking place in the classroom.  You are welcome to bring your conversation down the hall to the room across from the office, or the playground.

Conferences

The teachers of the Twos and Threes new to school have home visits prior to the first day of school. For the Twos, we do not hold sit down conferences in the fall as we are surely in regular communication with the parent or caregiver.  We are also getting to know your young child and will be able to give a summary of the year at our scheduled conference in May. The Threes and Fours schedule two conferences during which time the classroom is closed.  There will be sign up sheets in November and April the scheduled conferences.

Snack Policy

Snack is provided by the parents for each classroom.  There is a sign up sheet posted in each classroom.  Water is the only beverage served at Scarsdale Friends.  Please bring large jugs (not individual bottles) as we pour the water into cups. We provide crackers for each classroom.  Please abide by our desire to provide healthy snacks for the children and bring only vegetables, fruit, cheese or yogurt. With fruits and vegetables, it is helpful to us if it is cut up prior to bringing it to school.  Bring enough for one day only as storage of leftover food is an issue.  We will post any allergies in each classroom.  As peanuts are a common allergy, we have a no peanut policy.< /p>

Separation Policy

Separation is something that we have a lot of experience with!!  We have a phase in schedule for each classroom to help ease the transition into school.  This will by no means eliminate the anxiety both children and parents feel when the time comes to leave the child at school.  It is important to keep several things in mind about this remarkable process.  The first is that the GOAL is for the child to feel comfortable with us and with the classroom. (Not that the parent be able to “make a get away”)  Another issue is to understand that, for the child, letting the parent go means that the child is able to retain the image of the absent parent, hold onto the certainty that the parent will return, and possess the confidence to believe that he or she can get along without that careperson there.  Our staff is warm and caring and knows how to gain the trust and friendship of your child.  We have strategies to help the children process the concept of school and become comfortable with us.  We ask that, even when the separation process becomes routine, you will always tell us and your child that you are leaving.

Arrival and Departure Policies

After School Policy Safety in the parking lot is of the utmost importance.  Especially at pick and after school hours, we can let our guard down.  Hold your child’s hand while walking to your car.  Please enter and exit slowly. Do not arrive too early and do not arrive too late.  Morning drop off is at 9:00 in each classroom.  We want you to say goodbye to your child each day. (Refer to the Separation Policy)  In the beginning of the school year, we will help you through this process. Not saying goodbye to your child is more difficult for your child although it may seem the only way you can get out!!  If someone other that the authorized person(s) on your Child Release Authorization Form is to pick up your child, we must be notified in writing- a verbal communication is not enough. Please make sure your child’s teacher(s) has seen you pick up your child. You are welcome to stay on after school and socialize on the playground.  You are responsible for your child.  We ask that you not take out anything from the shed.  If you use the sandbox, please put all the sand toys back in the sandbox and cover it.  Please bring a bag to take your trash with you.  No peanut products allowed after school hours.

No gum or candy is to be given to your child or distributed to other children on school grounds.

Birthdays

Birthdays are special at school.  We celebrate them at snack time.  Please let us know in advance when you would like to celebrate your child’s birthday at school.  We allow cupcakes or some like treat for birthdays.  Please make sure there is enough for each child in your child’s classroom.  Many times the parent(s) wants to come in to share this special occasion with their child.  Arrangements can be made for you to come in towards the end of the morning to share a favorite story.  Many parents have made a pictorial history of the birthday child and his or her family.  You may want to make a little booklet to share with the class. If you are bringing cupcakes for snack, please also bring a healthy snack as 1 cupcake is not enough snack for the child to get through the whole morning.

Clothing

Think of your child’s comfort and provide simple clothing that is free from complicated fastenings.  Think of messy art activities and have your child wear clothes that are washable.  Think of your child’s safety and provide closed toe shoes and sneakers to prevent scrapes and falls.  Pease—NO crocks, flip flops. Please refrain from long skirts and loose pants that might be dangerous when climbing and playing outside.  For girls, we highly recommend bicycle shorts, shorts or leggings under skirts and dresses.

Communications

Communication comes in many forms at Scarsdale Friends.  It is an important tool for our understanding of your child and your understanding of your child in our program.  We understand you are eager for information about your child’s day. Please recognize that speaking with your child’s teacher while your child is present is not appropriate.  Staff will gladly take a few minutes at the end of the day when they are not responsible for the students to talk to you.  If the matter warrants more time, a phone call or e-mail exchange can be arranged.  If you would like to speak with the teacher before school begins, you may call the school in the morning and ask to speak with the teacher. The director provides a newsletter. Important information is posted on the entrance door and will also be posted in each classroom.  A parent volunteer prepares a staff and student directory.  One will be given to each staff and family at the school.  A limited number of extras are produced if you misplace your copy. Please refer to the last page of this handbook or the directory for contact numbers for the staff and director.  Our information is there be-cause we want you to contact us, even after school hours, if you need to. < /p>

Health Policy

Your child’s health is a matter of importance to us, and it also impacts the children and the staff of the school.  New York State requires all children entering any school setting to be current with immunizations.  A medical form, signed by your physician must be on file at the school when the child enters school.  If your child’s appointment is after school begins, please bring an updated form after the appointment.< /p>

If your child becomes ill during a school day, the child will be removed from the classroom to the director’s office and a parent will be called.  If the parent(s) cannot be reached, the people listed on your emergency form will be called to pick up your child.  Please make sure that the people you list as contacts on your emergency form are available and that they know their responsibility if you are not reached.

Please do not send your child to school with a sore throat, loose stools, vomiting or fever within the last 24 hours.  If your child has a contagious disease or illness, such as strep throat, conjunctivitis, or has a fever, diarrhea or vomiting, the child may return to school after being symptom free for 24 hours.  If your child has a contagious illness or lice, please inform the director so the other parents may be notified that their child has been exposed.

 

Toileting Policy

We are a supportive and considerate staff when it comes to toileting practices of each child.  We accept the child where he or she is at the time of entry to school. Twos need to bring in extra diapers if necessary, and a seasonal changeof clothing.  For threes, training pants if used, and a seasonal change of clothes.  For 4s, seasonal clothes are suggested for accidents or wet or muddy outdoor play.

Fundraising and Gift Giving

The nursery school keeps its fundraising endeavors to a minimum.   At times parent may organize a special event or a child directed project with the proceeds going to the school. These activities are welcome but need prior approval by the director.   Individuals may wish to make a contribution to the school either for the general fund or a specific fund (i.e. scholarship or a particular classroom). We welcome your appreciation and refer you to speak with the director.
We understand your desire to appreciate the teachers in your child’s classroom.  A card with a thoughtful note is appropriate. Gift giving to the staff is an individual decision.  It is not the policy of the school to endorse gift giving. No cash gifts should be given.

Toys from Home

SFNS discourages toys from home.  Toys from home distract from the materials we use at school and can inhibit the sense of community we build with the children.  Toys from home can cause difficulties if lost or broken.  If items from home are brought, they will be place in the child’s cubby.  Transition or security items (such as blankets) are allowed.

Admission/Sibling Policy

Our policy is to give preference to siblings of former and current students, and Quaker families.  All attempts will be made to provide a spot for a sibling and for children of Quaker families, but there may be situations where there are more siblings that available spots. To help determine who has priority for openings, a point system has been established.  For every year and for each child a family has spent at SFNS, they receive one point.  Quaker families receive one point.  If there are more requests than the available spots, points will be tallied and spots offered to the families with the most points.

Sibling Visits

The teachers are always happy to see former students and older siblings of current students.  If you would like to arrange a visit for a sibling who has a day off from school, please see the director in advance.  We can make arrangements for the child to visit the class if it is an agreeable time for the classroom teachers.

Holidays

SFNS does not celebrate holidays, though the curriculum recognizes the holidays as they occur and incorporates the theme into the curriculum.  If a parent wishes to come into the classroom and provide a specific activity related to how the family celebrates (i.e. cooking or a special story), please discuss this with the director and the teachers to find the appropriate time.

School Closings and Delays

Emergency closing of school due to weather conditions will follow Scarsdale Public Schools.  Extra days are built into the calendar to accommodate snow closings.  Please refer to this schedule:
Scarsdale Public Schools Closed          SFNS closed
One Hour Delay                                  SFNS open at 10am
Two Hour Delay                                  11-12 for the Twos
                                                         11-1 for the 3s and 4s

At all times, please use your judgment.  If you feel the driving is too hazardous, please do not bring your child to school.

You may listen to WFAS 1230AM, which broadcasts Scarsdale Public School closings or go to the Scarsdale Schools website.

In addition, we will send an email if school is closed. There may be situations where we will call families due to a change in school opening. 

Tuition and Deposit Payments

Scarsdale Friends operates on a September to June schedule. Tuition bills are distributed in August  and  January of your child’s school year.  Payment is expected by the 1st of the month.  Upon enrolling a child, a payment of a $100 application fee and $300 deposit (applied to tuition) is due. This payment secures you child’s spot in the class and is non refundable. The following April, a second non-refundable deposit of $800, also applied to tuition, is due. Please pay promptly. Scarsdale Friends Nursery School is a non-profit organization.

Hours of Operation

School for all classes begins at 9:00.  Please do not arrive too early,
as the teachers are busy setting up and discussing the day’s activities.

Twos
  Tuesdays and Wednesdays         9:00-11:15
Threes
Tuesday through Thursday           9:00-11:45
Fours
Monday through Friday                9:00-12:00

Please pick up promptly.  If you are going to be late, a phone call assures your child you are on your way.

Absences

If your child is going to be absent, please call us at the school between 8:30 and 9:30, or email us.

The school phone is: 472-6550.

Please be advised:
Scarsdale Friends reserves the right to request the withdrawal of a pupil at any time for reasons consistent with the best interest of the school. Scarsdale Friends reserves the right to request the withdrawal of a pupil at any time if the director and staff feel that the needs of the child cannot be met by our staff. If a child leaves upon the request of the school, the tuition will be refunded (prorated).

Staff Contact Information

The staff is willing to discuss issues you may have concerning your child after school hours. It is not possible to speak directly to the teachers during school hours about a particular issue as it pulls them away from the classroom and is distracting to the children in the class.

If you need to speak with your child’s teacher, please call the school at 472-6550.

We look forward to a wonderful year, filled with new experiences, developing friendships and nurturing relationships. We are delighted you have chosen our school for your child’s preschool.

Sue Ugliarolo, Director