Parent Handbook

Welcome to Growing Tree!

We are a private non-denominational preschool and do not discriminate, on any basis, when enrolling children.

HANDBOOK ADDENDUM:

UPDATED FEB 2024

The following changes to our general handbook school policies are in effect.

Annual supply fee of $400.00 per child

Monthly tuition payments are non-refundable

TK and kindergarten eligible registration deposits are non-refundable

Daily schedule options:

A  8:30-12:00 no lunch bunch

B  9:00-3:00

C  8:00-5:00

Full tuition to be charged during any necessary school closures due to health or wildfire situations, heavy smoke, or another unforeseeable disaster.

30-day notice to be given when requesting any schedule change, including withdrawing from the program. Non kindergarten eligible student Tuition Deposits may be refunded per registration form deadline.

There is a change fee ( per registration application ) once registration is completed should you decrease your reserved time before October.

All outside  visitors are by necessary appointment only.

Parents  should use designated parent zones for  drop off and picked up outside the classrooms.

School tours are conducted by appointment.

New students receive an introduction packet upon confirmed enrollment.

Student enrollment forms now include a Lillo agreement and a student waiver and release form per this Parent Handbook update.

Sign-in and out are done on the Lillo app used for teacher-parent classroom communications. Sign-in now includes parent responsibilities for health checks per Parent Handbook.

We do not offer any sick day or vacation day credit per this Handbook.

There will be no field trips or inside family events unless general health is not compromised.

We do not provide morning or afternoon snacks. Parents are to provide a personal snack(s) and drink daily in the backpack. Nut-free policy applies.

If the child has a B or C schedule, the parent provides lunch and a second snack. Nut-free policy applies.

Family VIP, Superstar, and birthday events are being scheduled in the classroom however birthday snacks to be shared must be pre-packaged and nut-free. No homemade treats, please! Consult with your child’s teacher to see what other special arrangements can be made to celebrate birthdays.

Class communications will be via an enhanced communication app – Lillo. All families must download this app.

Please review these important health and safety plans in place.

SMOKE AND WILDFIRE ACTION PLAN

LEAD SAFETY INFORMATION

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Admission Procedures:

Feel free to contact us any morning during the school year to see if we would be a good fit for you and your child.  We do have a tour policy and applicable protocols, please make an appointment. We are always happy to show you around the school, introduce you to our teachers, and answer any questions you may have.  Open Registration for the fall takes place in March. Please see our school calendar for registration dates.   New children may be enrolled at any time during the school year, given there is space in the classroom or grouping, and we are not at capacity school-wide.  If we are at capacity in the classroom or school-wide, we accept waiting list applications.  Enrollment/waitlist applications can be downloaded from the registration tab on this website.

There are several State Licensing requirements to be completed by both Growing Tree and our parents:

Parent responsibility:

A set of  “New Students!” enrollment forms must be completed prior to your child beginning school: emergency contact information, authorization for others to pick up your child, parents’ health history for your child, consent for emergency medical treatment, physician’s health report, immunization records, and parent waiver and release form.

Please notify us immediately if your child has any severe allergies. Epi-pens, inhalers, etc., are kept in the office and are clearly labeled with your child’s name and full instructions on usage. We have a specific allergy form for children with severe allergies.

Growing Tree responsibility:

To supply all families with the following: teacher background check process, notification of parents’ rights, notification of children’s rights, location of the local licensing office, and to display our State license.  Please be sure to not only sign your notifications of parents and children’s rights but to read them as well and keep copies for yourself.

Growing Tree has an “open door” policy – when applicable.

All children must be signed in and signed out each day. We use the Hi Mama app for this purpose, however, as backup rosters are at each classroom parent zone. Please sign your full name, not your initials.

General information about Growing Tree:

In case of emergency: We will call 911, and we will make an immediate effort to reach you – We ask all parents to provide us with a primary and alternate phone number.  If we are unable to reach you, we will call those authorized to pick up your child. A director or other designated staff member will remain with your child at all times. If your child must leave the premises, the director, or other designated staff member, will accompany him/her and will take your child’s file.

Your child will not be released from school to anyone who is not authorized by you as noted in your child’s file. We must have verbal or written permission from you in order to make any changes.

We use the Hi Mama app as the group emergency messaging system, and it is tested several times per year.

Growing Tree operates a monitored campus and does not authorize its parking or yard areas for use outside school hours.

Growing Tree asks all clients to use only our parking areas during school hours or functions. Our business neighbors all operated private property and parking areas.

Medical Procedures:  Each child is greeted upon arrival, at which time each child will be given a visual health check.  No child with a temperature over 99.5 can participate in school. If your child exhibits signs of illness during the day, we will contact you, or if we cannot reach you, we will contact those authorized to pick up your child.

Any medication you give us will be dispensed if it is in the original container and parent consent forms have been completed. Please note the dosage and time to be administered.

We ask that you keep your child home if: she/he has had a fever in the past 24 hours or has other flu/cold symptoms: diarrhea, vomiting,  heavy nasal discharge,  a constant cough, or is simply not feeling up to participating in school activities. Additionally, please consult  any current civic health protocols for specific guidance.

Please notify us as soon as possible if your child is exposed to any communicable disease. We have reporting responsibility for ALL communicable diseases.

All immunizations need to be current. As of January 2016, immunization exemptions based on personal beliefs are no longer permitted. Permit personal belief exemptions submitted before January 1, 2016, to remain valid until a pupil reaches kindergarten or 7th grade. Go to shots4kids.org for more immunization updates.

Absence Policy: No discounts/credits or make-up days for missed days due to vacation or illness.

Extended Absences: We are not able to hold open spaces without tuition payments other than tuition deposits to reserve advance spaces as offered.

Schedule Change Fee: If a change to your pre-registered schedule is made to decrease your registered days/hours, there is a $100.00 change fee per occurrence prior to October 1. Thereafter, changes require a full 30-day notice without additional fee.

Late fee Policy: There is a $15.00 late fee for every 15 min after our daily closing time.

Discipline: The only acceptable methods of discipline are redirection, distraction, time with a teacher, or, for the older children, a “time out.” All employees know that corporal punishment, rude or abusive language, or discrimination are grounds for immediate dismissal.

Clothing: We would like you to bring a change of clothes to be kept at school in your child’s backpack. Activities at school are often messy as well as fun – so send your child in clothes that can get dirty!
PLEASE LABEL ALL ITEMS BROUGHT TO SCHOOL!

Toilet training: We do not require that children be out of diapers before attending Growing Tree. However, in our oldest classes, the Pre K and Pre K + there are no diaper changing facilities. As your child progresses through the process of toilet training, we will follow your at-home practices as closely as we can.  In our efforts to prevent the spread of disease and to maintain a clean, healthy environment for your children, all children must be in a diaper, pull-up with side tabs, or underwear at all times while at school.

Comfort items: Whatever your child needs to help him/her feel more secure and comfortable are welcome at school as safe and applicable.

Food Allergies:  We at Growing Tree are committed to ensuring all children’s health and safety while here at Growing Tree and have implemented the following GROWING TREE IS NUT-FREE! policy.

1. Snacks/Lunches:.  We ask that you pack a nut-free lunch for your child.  Any foods containing nuts will go home unopened.  As we don’t have monitored eating areas at greeting time in the classroom, please have your child finish that last bite of breakfast in the car – not in the classroom.
2. Birthday (or VIP or Superstar Day!) treats:  These treats must be nut-free, prepackaged, and made in a nut-free facility.  NO HOMEMADE TREATS WILL BE SERVED TO YOUR CHILDREN AS WE CAN’T GUARANTEE THEY ARE FREE FROM NUT CONTAMINATION. Every family has received a packet of acceptable treats, and a more extensive list is available in each classroom. Go to snacksafely.com for more safe treat ideas!
3. If your child has nut allergies, we ask that you provide a supply of “safe” treats for your child in their classroom should a treat arrive, of which we are unsure.  Many of your children are seriously allergic to foods other than nuts.  In this case, we will only serve your child their supplied treats unless you have told us otherwise.
4. All allergy cases are individual, and we appreciate you “educating” your child’s teachers about the specific precautions needed to be taken for your child’s safety.

Holidays: Growing Tree follows the Moraga school vacation schedule with a few exceptions; our holiday schedule is posted in the office, on our website, and as noted in the Director’s monthly message.

Tuition:  August (1/2 month tuition and supply fee is due August 1st.  Tuition for October through May is due on the first day of the month and overdue by the 10th. Tuition and outstanding drop-in fees paid after the 10th are subject to a late fee (5% of the total outstanding balance.)  We set our tuition rates based on 11 1/2 school months. (School is Closed in the first half of August) There is no pro-rated amount for school vacations.

Tuition fees overdue after the 15th of the month in which services are incurred are subject to additional restrictions and or immediate withdrawal.

All Tuition must be cleared prior to classroom graduation dates or upon 30-day notice of withdrawal.

Your monthly schedule may be changed after October 1, if possible within groups; however, billing changes may not be accommodated mid-month.  Any billing/schedule changes will go into effect on the first day of the following billing cycle. The monthly deadline for schedule changes is a full 30-day notice.

There is also a paid 30 notice necessary for any full withdrawals.

Class Communications: You and your child are a priority to us each day. You are both warmly greeted each morning upon arrival. Feel free to communicate via Lillo directly with your child’s teacher with any questions or concerns. Teachers may not be able to respond during class time but are able to see your messages. Please always contact the office via [email protected] with any urgent messages.  Reports filling you in on fun activities your child has done during the day are sent home at the end of the day with fun details and pictures on your Lillo app. We do a comprehensive end-of-year observation for each child,  and your child’s teachers are available to meet with you in November at our back-to-school conference and at any time during the year as requested.

General Communication:

A director is always available for your questions. Our office number is 925-376-8280, and our email is [email protected]. Communication is important to us – let us know what means of communication works best for you!

Our website is www.growingtreepreschool.net. It contains our school year calendar, as well as important and updated current policies and guidance.

Parent Events: We have a family-friendly open house before school starts. We also have a Fall family picnic on the first Saturday in October, as well as a family Valentine’s party on the Saturday before Valentine’s Day and Graduation events for our oldest students and families.

If you have any questions or concerns about our policies, we maintain an open-door policy for parent’s access to the office and any classroom questions. Please come in and see us, or schedule a call. We always appreciate the opportunity to spend time helping to make preschool time the best for you and your child.

THANK YOU from the Growing Tree Administration Team and all our wonderful classroom teachers!