ST. CHRISTOPHER’S EPISCOPAL PRESCHOOL HANDBOOK
2800 Trimmier Road
Killeen, Texas 76542
8:45 A.M. – 2:15 P.M.
Becca Davis, Head of School
Carla Heinchon, Administrative Assistant
Given the nature of an ever-changing quality early education program, this handbook is a “living” document. You will be notified of formal policy changes during the year via a written policy notice through email. In addition, the handbook will be updated as needed.
St. Christopher’s Episcopal Preschool was established as an educational extension of St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church outreach program. The preschool provides an early childhood Christian learning environment, where children are encouraged to become lifelong learners. The preschool focuses on a whole child development methodology to include the spiritual, social, emotional, intellectual, and physical development of its students.
We believe in creating developmentally appropriate Christian based activities and practices that are:
- Based on what we know about how young children learn
- Relevant to children’s life experiences
- Based on the children’s current knowledge and abilities
- Respectful of cultural and individual differences and learning styles
- Responsive to the interests and needs of the children
- Focused on the learning process, not the end product
- Thought provoking - stimulating and challenging the minds of young children
- Based on the philosophy that children are competent and trustworthy, and can make good decisions if given the opportunity and practice
Statement of Non-Discrimination
St. Christopher’s Episcopal Preschool does not discriminate against applicants and students on the basis of race, color, and national or ethnic origins in administration of its educational policies, admission policies, financial aid programs and other school administered programs.
We welcome you and your family to St. Christopher’s Episcopal Preschool and hope the learning experience here will be a happy, wholesome one. We strive to give your child the loving care and guidance that children need in their formative years. As parents, you are encouraged to visit us, ask questions and make suggestions. The best assurance for the success of your child’s educational experience is the close cooperation and understanding of you and our staff.
The weekday program has been planned for ages 15 months through Kindergarten with the goal of helping them develop their spiritual, social, emotional, intellectual and physical development. This handbook has been prepared so you may know our policies and better understand the program as we work together to help your child through a successful year in our program.
St. Christopher’s Episcopal Preschool will not exclude children due to race, color, nationality, ethnic or religious origin.
St. Christopher’s Episcopal Preschool is located in the education wing of St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church. The property is on 5 acres of beautiful land and has many trees. The atmosphere for nature exploration is excellent. A labyrinth is adjacent to the main parking lot and is often incorporated into the curriculum. A fenced playground provides a safe environment for the children to play and exercise.
We are required to notify parents that St. Christopher’s Episcopal Preschool is located within a gang free zone. This means that certain gang-related criminal activity or engaging in organized criminal activity within 1000 feet of our school is a violation of Texas law and is subject to increased penalty.
St. Christopher’s Episcopal Preschool is a tobacco free campus. Smoking and the use of any other tobacco product is prohibited on any portion of the church and school grounds. Please notify the school office if you witness someone who is not in compliance with this policy.
The Episcopal Diocese of Texas does not permit any person, including clergy, staff, students, volunteers, and visitors, to carry a weapon in our churches or schools. This prohibition applies even if the person is licensed to carry a concealed weapon under Texas law.
The preschool is governed by our Preschool Board, which includes at least one parent representative. Our board supports the preschool staff and Head of School and makes policies for the governance of the School. The preschool board meets monthly and the meetings are open to anyone interested. St. Christopher’s Episcopal Preschool is a stand-alone non-profit organization.
St. Christopher’s Episcopal Preschool Board
Reverend Steve Karcher, priest of St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church
President: Beth Bodkin
Vice President/Vestry Representative: Judy Van Riper
Secretary: Judy MacWillie
Treasurer: Reign Sparks
Parent Representative: Jared Foster
St. Christopher’s Episcopal Preschool is licensed by the Department of Family and Protective Services of the State of Texas and follows all required minimum standards. A copy of this document is on file and available to all employees. It is required that each staff member review this manual annually as a part of our employee training process. The Minimum Standards document is available for parents to review and is located in the preschool office. If you ever have a question you would like answered from our licensing agency you may call TDFPS at 254-526-9011. Their website is www.tdprs.state.tx.us. You can also use the public website, www.txchildcaresearch.org. The latest Licensing Inspection report, for St. Christopher’s Episcopal Preschool, is posted in the office. Any incident of suspected child abuse or neglect is reported by our staff to the Department of Family and Protective Services at 1-800-252-5400. You may also contact the CHILDHELP USA National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-422-4453
(1-800-4 A Child).
St. Christopher’s Episcopal Preschool admits applicants without discrimination in favor of, or against, any child on the basis of race, national origin, religion or challenging conditions, except when the school cannot appropriately or adequately meet a child’s personal or developmental needs.
Our program currently has 8 classrooms, beginning at age 15 months up to Kindergarten. Students are placed into classes according to age. Students must be 15 months old by September 1st to be eligible for admission.
Registration is completed by filling out a registration card online and paying the $100 non-refundable registration fee. Prior to the student’s first day of school, A Health Statement/Medical Form, with physician’s signature, Parent Handbook Signature Page and immunization records, must be turned in on or before the first day of school. Texas licensing requirements state that all immunization records must be current. As your child receives new immunizations, please bring a copy so your records can be updated. If your child is missing any immunizations, you will be notified and expected to bring in proof of immunizations within 3 days. Tuberculin (TB) testing is not required for children 2-7 years of age. In compliance with State law, all students who are four years old by September 1 will need a vision and hearing screening. Your child’s pediatrician should conduct this test at the child’s four-year-old check-up. Results must be turned in with your child’s health form.
Vacancies in our program are filled on a first come, first served basis. Wait list is available.
St. Christopher’s Episcopal Preschool offers classes three days a week; Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Staff will begin greeting students at the curb and parking lot beginning at 8:40 A.M. and returning students at 2:15 P.M. After at 9 am students will need to be dropped off in small parking lot. The Preschool doors are locked at all times.
Teachers will contact parents for a Meet the Teacher conference the week before school officially begins. Preschool classes will start on Tuesday, August 24, 2021. School calendars will be distributed at Meet the Teacher or in the Preschool office during regular business hours.
School closures for weather will be announced on the local news or phone calls from teachers. All other closure decisions are made by the DFPS, board, the dioceses and the church. While St. Christopher’s Episcopal Preschool is a preschool, preschools are regulated by the Department of Family Protective Services.
Children who are picked up late will be added to the Extended Day program and fees will be assessed accordingly. A late fee of $20.00 will be assessed if you arrive later than 5:00 P.M., unless there has been an emergency situation (car accident, traffic) and you have notified us. Beginning at 5:00 P.M. you will be charged an additional $20.00 for each thirty minutes.
Our preschool is a non-profit, stand-alone organization and operates on funds provided by registration, snack/supply fees, monthly tuition, and donations. All fees are used to provide salaries, equipment, supplies and snacks. Tuition is due on the first school day of each month. Tuition is set by the Preschool Board and is reviewed annually.
Tuition is due the first of the month and not later than the 10th of each month. A $25.00 late fee will be assessed after the 10th. A bi-monthly tuition payment option is also available. Please call the office for any tuition arrangements.
A fee of $36.00 will be charged for any payments returned with non-sufficient funds (NSF). If we receive more than two NSF notices, you will be required to pay on a cash or money order only basis for the remainder of the year. Payments can be made through SmartCare or you can send check, cash or money order with you student. Your monthly tuition payment holds your child’s position in our program. Tuition remains the same for all months, regardless of how many days are in the month or how many days your child is present. Failure to make payments for 2 consecutive months without prior arrangements in the office will result in the removal of child from the program.
A daily prorated tuition rate can be assessed with a two-week written notice. Written notice is required when removing your child from our program, otherwise all tuition and fees will remain.
2021-22 School Year Tuition and Fees:
REGISTRATION FEE: $100.00 1st child $50.00 2nd child
(This is a non-refundable fee charged at time of registration)
TUITION FEE: $355.00 per month (August tuition is prorated)
$320.00 additional child
SUPPLY FEE: $75.00 per semester (due in August and January) (per child)
Extended Day care is available from 7:00am – 5:00pm for an additional fee.
Extended Day Afternoon can be added on a drop-in basis by contacting the office.
Extended Day Morning by appointment only.
Extended Day Monthly Morning OR Afternoon - $80.00 per month
Extended Day Weekly - $20.00 per week
Extended Day Daily - $7.50
Extended Day charges will be added to accounts at the end of the month unless student is registered for Monthly.
Extended Day students are dropped off at Preschool door by the playground. Ring the doorbell and staff will respond. At no time during the day is this door left unlocked. All other entry must be made at the front office doors.
Arrivals and Departures
It is important that parents adhere to the hours of operation when dropping off and picking up children. Parents will use the large parking lot and may park and walk children to the sidewalk or remain in their cars and staff members will remove children from the cars. Please have children easily accessible for staff, NO 3rd row seating. Children must be signed in and out each day using the Smartcare App and the QR code provided by staff. It is important to follow this licensing regulation, as it helps teachers keep a constant count of students at all times. Visitors: Parents are always welcome at the school. We ask that visitors check in with the school office before observing a classroom. When observing your student, we suggest that parents not interact with children or ask questions of the teachers, but remain hidden from sight so as not to distract the regular routine of the child and the class.
CLASS WILL OFFICIALLY END AT 2:15 P.M. Children will be taken to Extended Day at 2:25pm.
Children who are picked up late will be added to the Extended Day program and fees will be assessed accordingly. A late fee of $20.00 will be assessed if you arrive later than 5:00 P.M., unless there has been an emergency situation (car accident, traffic) and you have notified us. Beginning at 5:00 P.M. you will be charged an additional $20.00 for each additional thirty minutes.
Only individuals listed on your child’s registration through SmartCare are allowed to pick your child up. When picking your child up early, you must check in at the front office and wait for the teacher to bring your child. Please let your child’s teacher know in the morning if you plan to pick your child up early.
Please contact the office anytime your child is going to be absent from school. You may call (254) 526-8380 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Children will be released to those persons listed on the “Release Form”. Children may not enter or leave the school unless accompanied by an adult. Departing children will normally only be released to parents or other persons who are on the Student Emergency Information record. Please call the school or complete a “Release Form” in advance if someone different from a regular adult will be picking up your child. We will ask for positive identification when he/she arrives, which will be photocopied, St. Christopher’s Episcopal Preschool is required to maintain daily attendance records. Please be sure to sign your child “in” and “out” each day through our SmartCare app. QR Codes will be provided by teachers as children arrive each morning or depart each afternoon.
In order to accommodate the special requests and arrangements often necessitated by situations of marital separation and/or divorce, a copy of the most recent custody agreement contracted between the parents of the school child may be required to be on file with the child’s registration records. This is a requirement of the State of Texas in all shared custody situations; our goal is to assure the safety of your child at all times.
SCPS has two available parking areas. The small parking area is reserved for parents and visitors after normal drop-off and pick-up times. The doors at the preschool will remain locked at all times. The front door closest to the office has a doorbell so parents can be allowed entry while protecting our students.
Please DO NOT park on the grass in the small parking lot. We have events in the grass area throughout the year and our students can fall in the holes created by cars parking in the grass areas.
We believe that play is the work of childhood at St. Christopher’s Episcopal Preschool, and that young children learn best by doing, being fully engaged and having fun. Our teachers create a multi-sensory play-based hands on approach learning environment that develops the spiritual, social, emotional, intellectual and physical development of our students. Our Curriculum is designed by our teachers to create lifelong learners. Our small class sizes and low teacher-pupil ratio allow our staff to address the individual needs of each child.
Kindergarten class curriculum follows the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills and Pre-Kindergarten follows the Pre-Kindergarten Guidelines set up by Texas Education Agency or TEA https://tea.texas.gov.
Screen Time Policy
Screen Time Policy Technology has become an integrated part of our culture, and in early childhood education we understand both its value and limitations. Technology is used with the purpose of expanding and enhancing the curriculum and learning in the classroom; for example, Pre-K students may watch a short video clip of an actual volcano erupting before building their own volcanoes with baking soda and vinegar. All technology used will be directly related to the curriculum. We believe in limiting technology in the classrooms and allowing children in our preschool more time for enriching hands-on learning connections and experiences.
St. Christopher’s Episcopal Preschool is proud of being a mission program of the church. We are excited to be a school that integrates the spiritual side of life into our well-rounded curriculum. Religion is woven into the fabric of each and every day. Children are led to pray in thanksgiving before snack time and lunch. Each child will have an opportunity to discover their own spirituality through the wonderful teachings of our staff. There will be a weekly Chapel Time for all classes ranging from 15-20 minutes depending on the age of the class. The Head of School or Rector will retell Bible stories in a developmentally appropriate curriculum as well as sing songs. It is spiritually enriching for all.
St. Christopher’s Episcopal Preschool will follow all CDC recommendations and guideline for controlling the spread of all illness and diseases. This will include:
1. Child’s illness prevents him/her from participating in activities including outdoor play.
2. The child has one of the following:
- Oral temperature of 100.4 degrees or greater accompanied by behavior changes and signs of illness.
- Axillary temperature of 99.4 degrees or greater accompanied by behavior changes and signs of illness.
- Ear temperature of 100.4 degree or greater accompanied by behavior changes and signs of illness.
- Symptoms and sign of illness such as wheezing, uncontrolled diarrhea, vomiting, rash with fever, mouth sores with drooling and abnormal breathing.
- A health care professional has diagnosed the child with a communicable disease and the child does not have medical documentation to indicate the child is no longer contagious
in 25TAC 97.7
All children must be symptom free for a 24-hour period before returning to school. When your child becomes ill at school we will contact the parent or guardian listed first on the registration card. We will leave a message and attempt the second parent or guardian listed. We would appreciate a call from you within 30 minutes. If we do not receive a call we will contact your first emergency contact.
In order for your child to attend, a health certificate and a current immunization record completed by your physician, or an exemption affidavit, must be on file at the school prior to the opening day of school. This form is part of the Admission Information Form 2935. Immunization records must be kept current as children receive additional immunizations and must remain current for the entire school year or the child will be unable to attend class. Exemptions for immunization requirements must meet criteria specified by the Texas Department of Health Services. TB testing is not required in Bell County.
Vision and Hearing Screening for 4 & 5 year Olds
The Special Senses and Communication Disorders Act, Texas Health and Safety Code, Chapter 36, requires a vision and hearing screening for children who are enrolled in preschool and who are four years of age by September 1. Each 4-year-old must be screened for possible vision and hearing problems by their Primary Caregiver prior to September 1 of any given school year. The results are included in the child’s medical history.
Pandemic Emergency Response
- (of a disease) prevalent over a whole country or world
- An outbreak of a pandemic disease
The center will implement the Pandemic Section of the Crisis Management Plan under the guidance and direction of the CDC, federal and local governments, and the Department of Family and Protective Services.
To ensure the safety of children, families and staff the center will monitor the situation and take into account the guidance and suggestions from the authorities on the situation. Decisions made by the center will consider the safety of children, families and staff. Decisions may include:
- Closure of the center
- Length of closure to be determined by center, CDC, federal and local governments, the Department of Family and Protective Services
- Adjusted hours of service
- Daily health checks of children and staff
- Limited entry into the building
- Limited access to the property
- Limitations on what the children may bring into the center, such as
- Stuffed animals
Sometimes it is necessary for a child to take medication at school. Parents must fill out and sign a Medication Authorization Form giving permission to dispense the medication. Medication brought to the preschool must be in its original container with the child’s name, dosage, time to dispense and date. Medication is stored in the office and medication will be administered by the Head of School or the Assistant to the Head of School. Children who have extreme allergies to bee stings, ant bites, and use an Epi-pen will need a letter from the child’s doctor on file in the office. Over the counter lotions and creams may be administered by staff members with a parent’s permission. If medicine is only to be administered twice a day, then the medicine needs to be administered at home. Medication left at the center will be disposed of after the last day of school.
Teachers at our school will be as proactive as possible by planning age-appropriate activities. When a child willfully harms another person (hitting, kicking, biting, pushing or being disruptive within the group setting) the child will be dealt with in the following manner:
1. Children will be redirected. The teacher will fill out an Accident/Incident form for both children involved. Parents will be able to read and sign this form at the end of the day, and it will be placed in the child’s file.
2. If the improper behavior continues, the child may be placed in “think time” (time out) in the classroom within the view of the teacher for the number of minutes equal to the age of the child.
3. If the behavior difficulty becomes habitual, a parent conference will be called to establish what steps will be taken to help the child with the situation. When a parent has been called three times – the parent may be asked to remove the child from our program.
At no time will the staff at St. Christopher’s discipline a child by striking, shaking or any other use of physical action. The staff will not physically punish or deprive a child of food, sleep or outside play.
All staff members are required to complete annual training on the topic of Child Abuse and Neglect and how to report suspected abuse and neglect. Staff are also required to take Safeguarding God’s Children, through the Episcopal Church so that they are aware of warning signs of abuse as well as how to teach the children ways to protect themselves. Any incident of suspected child abuse or neglect is reported by our staff to the Department of Family and Protective Services at 1-800-252-5400. You may also contact the CHILDHELP USA National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-422-4453 (1-800-4 A Child).
St. Christopher’s Episcopal Preschool takes pride in the loving, warm and friendly environment that it is able to provide your child and your family.
While at St. Christopher’s Episcopal Preschool, your child is under constant supervision. However, minor injuries may occur during play. When this happens, the staff will perform the necessary first aid and fill out an Accident/Incident form for you to read and sign. We will notify you immediately if your child sustains serious injury and/or becomes ill. Our staff is certified in Pediatric First Aid and CPR.
Emergency procedures are in place for fire and tornado drills. We practice fire drills with the children each month. These drills help to prepare the children and reduce their fears in case of a real emergency. In case of extreme emergencies at preschool, we have an emergency evacuation plan in place. If there is ever a time we have to evacuate away from the area and proceed to a distance of five miles, children will be transported to our designated meeting facility using staff vehicles. That location is Harker Heights Park and Recreation Bldg., 307 Miller’s Crossing, in Harker Heights. Children will be released only to those people who are listed as emergency contacts on the registration card. ID must be presented. An in-depth plan is available in the office. As stated previously, when severe weather occurs, we will follow the Killeen Independent School District’s schedule.
The children will be going outside when the wind chill is above 32 degrees. During extremely hot weather, we ask that you apply sunscreen in the morning before school, as well as send an extra water bottle for your child. During cold weather, please send your child with a coat and hat.
St. Christopher’s Episcopal Preschool has a detailed Emergency Procedure handbook located in the preschool office and in each classroom. You may see the handbook and review the procedures at any time.
Classroom concerns should be discussed with the lead teacher. If a satisfactory resolution to the problem has not be achieved, a meeting with the Head of School should be arranged. In the event a parent is dissatisfied with the response or action taken by the Head of School on any matter, the parent may request a meeting with the School Board.
The request, along with the summary of the issue of concern, should be submitted to the Chairperson of the School Board.
If a parent requests a meeting, the parent should not only be able to explain the issue of concern, but should also be prepared to articulate the nature of the response or action that he/she believes the School Board should take to resolve the matter. The decision of the School Board will be the final decision for the Preschool, and the parent and administration will be expected to accept and support the decision in a professional manner.
Throughout the year, the preschool will host special events at school. A Calendar of Events is given out to all families at the beginning of the school year. It can also be found on our webpage, www.stchrisps.com.
The most important day of the year in the life of a child is their birthday. If you would like to make this day even more special for them, please check with your child’s teacher one week prior to verify date and any food allergies before bringing special treats to the class. Remember to make any food as healthy as possible.
We host parties for the major holidays. These parties are listed on our calendar of events. Please consult with your child’s teacher or the office to see how you can best help with school parties.
Animals at School
Because they play a valuable role in children’s development, St. Christopher’s classrooms have safe live pets such as rats, tropical gold fish, snails, tadpoles, spiders, etc. In accordance with common sense and licensing regulations, children and staff will practice good hygiene and hand washing when handling pets. Children in school may not have direct contact with chickens, ducks, reptiles or amphibians and cannot bring their live pets from home into school without prior permission from the teacher and Director. Parents will be notified 48 hours in advance if other animals will be visiting the program and a current shot record for the animal must be on file in the preschool office prior to the visit.
We ask that you leave your child’s personal toys at home. We cannot be responsible for toys brought to school. A favorite stuffed animal, blanket, etc. may be brought for rest time only. Please have it packed in your child’s backpack if you choose to send such an item.
At times the teachers will tell the children to bring something for “show and tell,” your child may bring a special toy or other item (that will fit in their backpack) from home.
Please remember to write your child’s name on anything brought to school.
Our educational environment supports learning through play and some activities may be dirty and messy. We try to protect clothing at all times, but please dress your children accordingly and understand that there may be times when paint ends up on clothing instead of paper. When the children go out to the playground the mulch can get into their shoes and hurt their feet. For this reason, we recommend closed toe shoes. Each child must bring a backpack with an extra change of clothing appropriate for the season, including socks and shoes.
For children in diapers, please bring only disposable diapers. We will change diapers throughout the day while your child is in our care. We gladly work with you as you begin potty training your child. For health reasons, we will not wash soiled clothing.
Your child will have rest time after lunch according to standards of the state of Texas state: “you must provide a supervised sleep or rest period after the noon meal for all children 18 months of age or older who are in care five or more consecutive hours” (standard code #746.2901), “you must allow each child who is awake after resting or sleeping for one hour to participate in an alternative, quiet activity until the nap/rest time is over for the other children” (standard code #746.2907).
1. Please provide a thin nap mat for your child to rest on. You may also send in a beach towel or small blanket to cover up.
2. A king size or body size pillowcase will fit the nap mat nicely if you choose to cover it. Towels, blankets, pillows, etc., will be sent home for laundering on a regular basis.
Kindergarten students will not take naps so no nap materials are necessary.
St. Christopher’s Episcopal Preschool will provide a healthy snack each day. When registering please clearly mark any special food considerations or allergies so that we can accommodate your child. If you would like to bring in a special snack for your child’s class.
Please make advance arrangements with the teacher. The snack schedule is on a four-week rotation located in the office should you like to review it.
- Please bring lunches with drinks that can be easily opened by your child. NO SODA.
- We are unable to heat foods for your child; therefore, microwaveable foods are not permitted.
- All fresh fruit and vegetables should be cut into small pieces in order for your child to eat them safely. You are encouraged to send in an extra water bottle for them to drink from throughout the day.
- Please label lunch boxes and thermoses.
- NO CANDY. Candy will be returned in lunch box.
ALL CUPS, LUNCH BOXES, WATER BOTTLES, PACIFIERS, ETC. MUST BE LABELED WITH CHILD’S NAME!
St. Christopher’s Episcopal Preschool will not be responsible for meeting the
nutritional requirements of your child
Communication with our parents will occur via webpage, www.stchrisps.com, email and notes home in your child’s cubby. Please check your child’s cubby and/or take-home folder each day. Please make sure all email addresses are up to date. Teachers are discouraged from using their personal cell phones for communication of any kind. Please respect our teachers and communicate through email, notes or any of the above listed choices.
Social Media Policy
St. Christopher’s Episcopal Preschool has a webpage at www.stchrisps.com and FaceBook page that will reflect the ongoing events at school. We will not post pictures of your children unless we ask permission. Our teachers do not accept friend requests until the end of the school year.
Records for students are kept in a locked fireproof/waterproof storage cabinet. When students leave our program, their records are moved to an inactive student filing system and kept for 3 years. At the end of 3 years, the records are properly disposed of. Student information is never given out unless we have a signed parental consent form.
The Preschool takes photos of the children during their daily preschool activities. These photos are used for student portfolios, parent education and in displays in the classroom, or other areas within our facility. St. Christopher’s Episcopal Preschool requests a signed Consent and Release For Use of Photographs form to be on file in the preschool office. That form is provided on the St. Christopher’s website.
First Day of School Checklist
- Current Shot Records & Medical Form
- Nap Mat (thin) & Blanket - Marked with child’s first name and last initial
- Water/Sports Bottle – Marked with child’s first name and last initial
- Change of Clothes (to include socks and shoes) – Marked with child’s first name and last initial
- Diapers & Baby Wipes for those who use them
- Back Pack – Marked with child’s first name and last initial
- Healthy Lunch