Discovery Preschool Inc.
P.O. Box 135
Ripon, WI. 54971
Discovery Preschool is a nonprofit organization. We are not affiliated with a religious organization. The preschool is directed by a volunteer Board of Directors. The Board meets once a month to make decisions concerning budget, enrollment, fund raising and other important issues. Board of Director meetings are usually held the second Monday of each month at 6:30pm. We welcome parents to attend all regular monthly meetings.
Jan KerchAshley O’Kon Karlee Piasecki
603 Eureka St.537 Scott St. N4655 Radio Road
Ripon, WI 54971Ripon, WI 54971 Brandon, WI 53919
Office Manager / Admin Assistant / Registrar
N7911 Union St.
Ripon, WI 54971
2014-2015 Board of Directors
Jamie DragolovichVice (920)979-2726
Welcome to Discovery Preschool. We hope your whole family will enjoy our school and the friends you will make here. This handbook has been written to describe our program, goals, policies and the myriad of practical details that go into making each school day as happy and successful as possible. Please study the handbook and keep it for reference as it will answer many of your questions.
Compassion – Caring for each child who helps us create the Discovery family
Harmony – Partnering families with teachers to truly encourage each child
Interaction – Supporting each child in forming friendships and acquiring social skills
Learning – Engaging each child in creative, hands-on scholastic opportunities
Development – Building a positive self-image and a sense of self-esteem for each child
The purpose of this corporation shall be to operate a non-profit cooperative, licensed preschool and wrap around program for children ages 2.5 years to 6 years of age and a summer program for a multi-age group to be determined by class sign up and parental needs. Our curriculum is bias-free and developmentally based, focusing on the individual child’s social, emotional and intellectual needs.
Our professional staff encourages exploration and growth in a well-equipped environment that is stimulating, safe, consistent and nurturing. We strive to enhance each child’s natural curiosity and love of learning. Discovery Preschool provides opportunities for each child to master tasks that are appropriate to his or her individual level of development.
We are committed to working closely with parents toward the welfare of the whole family. Parents are welcome to visit the school at any time; both prior to enrolling their child and during the time the child is at school.
Days are planned so that children will:- be safe and feel secure
-receive individual attention and affection
-develop satisfying relationships with other children and adults
-experience successes in order to develop a positive self-image
-learn to respect the personal and property rights of others
-develop intellectual and physical skill
The Ripon Nursery School, the preschool’s first name, was founded in 1959 after the public schools no longer offered a 4-year-old Kindergarten. One class of 13 students met in the Episcopal Church hall 5 days a week from 9:00-11:00 a.m. The first teacher was Mrs. Delores Hunger.
Discovery Preschool provides each child with the opportunity to build a positive self-image within an open, creative educational environment in which families and teachers work together.
RELIGIOUS POLICY/CULTURAL DIVERSITY
Discovery Preschool is a non-denominational school which does not emphasize any one religion, but will equally represent cultural traditions during holiday seasons. It is also the school’s policy to foster the staff members and students to appreciate and hold a mutual respect for each other’s religious beliefs and cultural backgrounds.
All of the teachers on the staff of Discovery Preschool have received special training in Early Childhood Development and Education which meets or exceeds state qualifications. Teachers annually receive and document at preschool a minimum of 25 hours of continuing education. Continuing education will include training on fire extinguisher use, emergency response procedures and Universal Procedures. Teachers are in constant communication with each other discussing goals and development of your children. Each month a summary of their meetings are typed and filed for reference. Upon employment new staff will be oriented to school policies, DCF licensing rules, the code of ethics and confidentiality. All teachers are certified in First Aid, CPR and AED, Shaken Baby Syndrome Prevention and Child Abuse and Neglect. A physical examination which includes a TB test and documentation of immunization requirements shall be met by all staff.
Discovery Preschool submits the names of persons in contact with the children to the State of Wisconsin’s Department of Justice for Criminal History Records. State law requires that persons working with children submit a self-disclosing Background Character Verification prior to employment and every year thereafter.
The requirement of the Criminal History Record became effective in January 1996 for all child care centers in Wisconsin. The people whose names we submit to the Department of Justice are those of the preschool staff and hired or volunteer teacher substitutes.
STAFF to CHILD RATIO
Discovery Preschool is licensed for a maximum class of 19 students and 10 wrap around children during any given time of programing. The staff to child ratio is one teacher per every 8 students for 2.5 years olds, one teacher to 10 students for 3 year olds, and one teacher to 14 students for 4 year olds. The maximum group size does not apply to field trips or special events. In the event that there are eight or fewer children present at the preschool, only one teacher is required. A second adult shall be available within five minutes for emergencies. The preschool shall maintain a signed and dated statement from that person; including address and telephone number certifying that the person is available and agrees to serve if needed.
CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT
Staff members are required by law to report any suspected child abuse or neglect. Staff members are trained in mandatory reporting and identification of child abuse and neglect.
TERMS OF LICENSING
The preschool is licensed by the Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services. The terms of the license are: Capacity: 29– 19 per class room and 10 for wrap around care
Teacher/Child Ages 2 1/2years ratio: 1:8, Ages 3years 1:10 ratio, Ages 4 years 1:14 ratio.
The Department of Health and Family Services Rules and Regulations Handbook and inspection results are posted in the hallway at the adult drop off and pick up sign-in sheet.
WHAT DO CHILDREN LEARN AT PRESCHOOL?
Children develop skills, concepts, attitudes, self-direction, and relationships with others. Although the preschool helps prepare children for Kindergarten, the program is not highly academic or competitive. Children gain experience in writing and drawing; they are exposed to science, instructed in good nutrition, and taught good personal hygiene; they gain a sense of history, and take field trips within the community. Many of the activities use music to enhance enjoyment. Games and exercise stress experience, cooperation and fun, not competition or winning.
Parents are informed of the children’s activities through a monthly newsletter and are encouraged to participate in our open door policy by providing snacks for the class and by accompanying the children on field trips. We hope that children will come away from preschool with the feeling that school and learning are fun. Our intent is for each child to gain a positive self-worth that will lead to success in the future.
WHAT IS WRAP AROUND CARE?
The Wrap Around Care Program is an extended care opportunity for children who attend the preschool portion of Discovery Preschool. The program is available between the hours of 7:30 AM and 5:30 PM for an additional charge above the preschool fees. The Wrap Around class room does not have diaper changing facilities. For this reason children in Wrap Around Care need to be toilet trained. Children not attending the preschool program may attend Wrap Around Care based on availability.
The daily activities of the Wrap Around Care Program has the focus of the care and implementation of programs to ensure that each child has a balance of active and quiet activities in their day.
Some of the Wrap Around Care activities may be an overlapping of preschool learning centers and games. The goal is for the Wrap Around Care curriculum to not be a repetition of the preschool day, but rather, an enrichment or further exposure of the current preschool theme. The Wrap Around Care Program will have the opportunity to further explore topics that children show an interest in or have demonstrated a need for reinforcing. The preschool teachers and Wrap Around teacher will work as an educational team sharing ideas and materials to provide a seamless educational experience.
Monday-Wednesday-Friday morning class hours are 8:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Children should not arrive before 8:20 a.m. and must be picked up by 11:10 a.m.
Monday-Tuesday-Thursday afternoon class hours are 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Children should not arrive before 12:20 p.m. and must be picked up by 3:40 p.m.
Tuesday-Thursday morning class hours are 8:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Children should not arrive before 8:20 a.m. and must be picked up by 11:10 a.m. Wrap Around Care students should not arrive more than 5 minutes before their slotted drop-off time and must be picked up within10 minutes of their slotted pick up time.
ADMISSION AND ENROLLMENT POLICY
Children must be 2 ½ years on their first day of attendance. Children may enroll anytime throughout the year as long as they meet the age requirement and the class has openings. Parents who have children with toileting concerns should discuss this with the teachers so that a plan can be implemented. Parents are encouraged to register early. ENROLLMENT FOR THE FOLLOWING YEAR IS NOT AUTOMATIC. Contact the current registrar for registration information. The number of students enrolled is limited by the license agreement. This number is based on the number of teachers and the size of the facility.
An enrollment form and health information form is required of all students on the first day of preschool. If the enrollment form is not completed in full, the child will not be permitted to attend preschool and will have to return home with parents. (State regulations)
State law requires that all students complete the immunization forms no later than 30 days after the beginning of preschool. (Certain exceptions may be granted. Contact the preschool teachers for details.)
It is required by the WI State Licensing Department that all children receive a medical exam every 2 years. This exam should occur no earlier than six months prior to the beginning of preschool and no later than 60 days after the beginning of preschool. Discovery Preschool does not discriminate per the American Disabilities Act.
An orientation meeting is scheduled each school year in August to hand in paperwork and answer parent questions.
OPEN DOOR POLICY
Discovery Preschool has an open door policy. Parents are encouraged to visit at any time their child is in the program. Grandparents, siblings, relatives and friends are also welcome to visit. Our preschool doors are locked during class time for the children’s safety. Parents/family may enter the building at any time by ringing the doorbell or calling one of the phone numbers posted on the door. Parent/family visits will be limited or denied if the visitors demonstrate probable intoxication and/or drug abuse, inappropriate language and/or behaviors, contagious illness and a criminal record dangerous to children in accordance with the department of DCF.
At Discovery Preschool we welcome and encourage parents to volunteer with our daily activities and field trips. Volunteers may also include grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends, visiting relatives etc. Volunteering may involve working with children in specific skill areas, reading and playing with children, general classroom assistance, behind the scenes project preparation and more. Persons who frequently volunteer will be asked to complete a short orientation and training process. Families who are not available to volunteer during class hours may assist with evening or weekend projects. Ask the teacher if you are interested in providing us with extra assistance.
In the event that a teacher is absent, a substitute teacher will be hired. Substitute teachers may consist of parents, early childhood staff or other professionals deemed appropriate for preschool staff. All substitutes shall have a brief orientation, training in Shaken Baby Syndrome, and complete a background identification disclosure form.
PARENT LENDING LIBRARY
A “Lending Library Cart” with books, pamphlets, etc. on child development and safety issues is available for parent use. Please sign out materials and date borrowed in small notebook on library cart shelf.
BYLAWS & SCHOOL POLICIES
Copies of school policies and bylaws are available to parents on the lending library cart. Additional information is available upon request.
SPECIAL EVENTS INFORMATION
Several bulletin boards are utilized for volunteer sign ups, special requests, family extra- curricular activities, and more. Notes are also sent home with special events information.
MONTHLY NEWSLETTERS & CALANDERS
Each month a calendar and newsletter will be sent via e-mail to update and inform parents/caregivers on planned curriculum, field trips and no school days.
We will be observing your child throughout the year to assess their development physically, emotionally, socially, cognitively, creatively, and in language skills. Twice a year a “Child’s Skills Checklist” will be completed by the teachers. This information will provide the basis for the parent-teacher conferences held in November/December and March/April each year. Additional conferences can be held anytime if a parent or teacher requests one.
QUESTIONS FOR TEACHER AND BOARD
Your child’s adaptation and development in preschool is important. If you have any questions the Director, Jan Kerch, is eager to assist and answer them.
She is available during school hours to talk to you in person or you may call her during lunch break, before or after classes at school 748-3493.
She can also be contacted evenings at her home 748-5434.
Board members are available for questions concerning program operations, fundraising, policies etc. Please refer to board members phone numbers on page 2.
ACCESS TO CHILD’S RECORDS/CONFIDENTIALITY
The staff at Discovery Preschool is committed to maintaining confidentiality and lending support to help families achieve their goals. Children’s records are accessible to the parents of the child at all times and preschool policies are governed by parental needs. The children’s records are only accessible to the Director, teachers, Administrator and to the parents of the child.
Children of parents who are divorced or separated must legally be released to the non-custodial parents by Wisconsin statutes. This also includes releasing information to the non-custodial parent. The only way we cannot do so is if we have a signed court document in the child’s file stating otherwise.
CHILDREN WITH MORE THAN ONE RESIDENCE
Contact the preschool at any time if more than one copy of information (handbooks, newsletters, etc.) is needed or if information needs to be sent to more than one e-mail address. Discovery Preschool is happy to send multiple copies of information to all parents and/or guardians of enrolled children.
The following is an explanation of the daily learning experiences offered at Discovery Preschool and Wrap Around Care Program. Teachers attempt to be consistent with the sequence of the day’s activities to aid children in making smooth transitions. However, sometimes learning opportunities warrant a revised schedule. A monthly calendar of the activities and lessons is available online at
WRAP AROUND CARE PROGRAM
Wrap Around Care children will be provided a flexible schedule of activities that will meet the individual needs of the child. The Wrap Around Care activities will enhance the curriculum planned for the preschool portion of the child’s day. A summary of the Wrap Around Care Program Schedule is available on the website under Wrap Around Care Information, and a hard copy will be provided to children enrolled in the program.
SNACK AND MEALS
Children who are in program; Preschool and/or Wrap Around Care, for more than 2 ½ hours and no more than four hours shall have one snack. Children in program for at least 4 hours but less than 8 hours shall have one snack and one meal. Children in program for more than 8 hours and less than 10 hours shall have two snacks and one meal.