(Last Updated August 2018)
1. PLAYSCHOOL OPERATIONS
The Playschool is operated through the Hounsfield Heights Briar Hill Community Association, as such valid HHBH Community Memberships are required for each family attending the Playschool.
1.1 Class Structure
The Playschool will ensure each class will be staffed at a minimum 1:12 staff member to children ratio. Where seven or more children are present in a class, a minimum of two staff members will be on duty. With regards to ratios, and in accordance with Alberta Child Care Licensing regulations, a parent volunteer may be considered a staff member.
A class will be considered full at twelve children with one teacher; additional children, up to a maximum of fourteen, will be allowed at the discretion of both the Teacher and the Executive. Two teachers will be considered when there are fifteen or more children registered for a class.
1.2 Class Schedule
- Morning class time: 9:00 am - 11:30 am
- Afternoon class time: 1:00 pm - 3:30 pm
Staggered entry may be arranged at the beginning of the year if class size requires. If staggered entry is required, a portion of children would attend on alternate days during the first week of playschool to allow the children to become familiar with the teachers and the Playschool routine in a less stimulating environment. Parents are encouraged to stay until their child is comfortable and confident.
1.3 Classroom Routine
The school year is organized around themes, (e.g. animals, helpers in our neighbourhood, fairy tales). Parents and children are encouraged to contribute special interests or talents that relate to the theme. A summary of the themes for the school year is included in the Playschool Orientation Package sent out prior to the commencement of school. Below is an example of an average day in the playschool. Please note that gym, music and special guests are incorporated into the class on a regular basis. Our Playschool does not have field trips.
- 8:45am Parent helper & special student helper arrive to help with set up.
- 9:00am Teacher and helper open door to admit all students. Free play
- 9:15am Morning circle time: calendar, weather, songs, discussion of day’s activities
- 9:30am Free play at centers (e.g. puzzles, sand, play-dough, books, crafts…)
- 10:30am Clean up
- 10:35am Wash hands & Snack
- 10:50am Movement & dance
- 11:00am Show & tell of special student helper
- 11:10am Stretching & story time
- 11:25am Prepare for going home
- 11:30am Outside door is open for pick up. Parent helper stays until last child is picked up
1.4 Items to Bring to Class
Children need to come to school with a change of clothes, a pair of indoor shoes for the classroom and a full water bottle. Non-marking running shoes are required for the school gym. Please label backpacks, shoes, coats, etc. to minimize mix-ups. We ask that toys or other items from home are not brought to class.
1.5 Playschool Closures
Playschool will be closed on all statutory holidays and all Calgary Board of Education (CBE) closure dates (e.g. CBE Teacher’s Convention). A calendar of important dates and closures is available on our website, http://hhbhcaplayschool.com/. See http://hhbhcaplayschool.com/links/ for a downloadable PDF calendar.
2. REGISTRATION POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
a) Age: Children must be 3 years of age before attending Playschool on their own. If space is available and at the discretion of the Executive, a child on the first day of the month of their third birthday may attend with their parent until the day of their third birthday;
b) Children must be fully toilet trained by the start of school (unless the child has a physical/medical condition that requires the use of pullups).
a) Continuing students, alumni families, and HHBH community residents are able to register prior to open registration. All other children can register during open registration; date determined annually by the Registrar.
b) Police clearance of at least one parent or adult who will be completing parent helper shifts at the Playschool must be received prior to the child commencing Playschool.
a) All families are required to have an up-to-date Hounsfield Heights Briar Hill (HHBH) Community Association Membership ($20/year). In addition, there is an annual registration fee of $50. These fees are non-refundable.
b) There is no compensation for days that the Playschool is closed.
3. PARENT INVOLVEMENT
A cooperative Playschool requires parents to be involved with their child’s playschool experience.
3.1 Volunteering in the Classroom (In-Class Helper)
- Each family must participate in regularly scheduled helper days for each child attending the Playschool. The frequency of helper days for each family will be determined by the class enrolment (approximately one helper day every 4-8 weeks).
- Parents, grand parents, nannies, or another important person in your child’s life can be the special helper, as long as that person has completed their police clearance and is of 18 years of age;
- It is your responsibility to sign up for helper days online via Sign Up Genius. When the sign up schedule is available, an email will be sent to parents explaining the process.
- In the case of illness, emergency or scheduling conflict, it is your responsibility to find a replacement with another family for your Special Helper days. The Class Liaison can be enlisted to assist with finding a substitute or trade if necessary.
- On your parent helper day, your child is the special student. Your child can bring show and tell for the class, and it is your responsibility to bring a nut-free snack for all the students that day.
- Siblings are not allowed in class unless an additional adult (with police clearance) accompanies the sibling.
- Please see our website for an outline of Parent Special Helper requirements and what to expect in our classroom, http://hhbhcaplayschool.com/special-helper
3.2 Playschool Annual General Meeting (AGM) - May
The Playschool has one mandatory AGM per year. At least one parent of every incoming child must attend. The meeting will:
a) Review year-to-date financial statement;
b) Present the next year’s budget;
c) Introduce the teachers and provide an overview of Playschool program
d) Discuss parent volunteer expectations;
e) Elect the Playschool Executive for the following year;
f) Answer any questions regarding the playschool.
3.3 Out-Of-Class Volunteer Expectation
Each family is required to complete one out-of-class job per child enrolled. Out-of-class jobs include a role on either the Playschool Executive Board or one of the Non-Executive Committees. Sign up for Non-Executive Committees will be available on Sign Up Genius, on a first come, first serve basis prior to the beginning of the school year. Executive positions are filled at the AGM in May. Please see our website for a list of Non-Executive Committee positions and Executive Board positions.
4. SNACK EXPECTATIONS
Alberta Children’s Services and Alberta Health Services: Public Health, monitor and regulate the snacks that are provided in the playschool. Each family is to provide a nut-free nutritious snack from two food groups on their helper day.
4.1 Food GUIDELINES
As determined by Alberta Children’s Services, the snacks must:
- Be nut-free – all food items brought into the classroom cannot contain nuts or nut products;
- Not present a potential choking hazard. For example: No seeds, popcorn or hard candies; Grapes must be sliced lengthwise; Vegetables/fruit must be sliced or chopped with pits/stones removed; No skewers or toothpicks;
- Be brought ready to be served. The Playschool is not licensed for food preparation.
- Serving utensils for the snack must be brought from the parent’s home
In addition to the above noted requirements, the Playschool requests:
- The snack contain food from two different food groups;
- Perishable food items (e.g. dairy, meat, eggs) be limited to pre-packaged, individual servings. There is a small fridge for storing perishable foods in the classroom;
- Be “snack-size” – the snack is not intended to replace a meal;
popcorn or candy
rice crispy squares
chocolate chip cookies
tortilla or potato chips
oranges & mini bagels
apple slices & crackers
cheese strings & homemade muffins
banana bread & raisins
individual yogurts & sliced grapes
individual cheese & pita pockets
4.2 Food Allergies
Any known allergies need to be reported to the teachers and listed on the child’s registration forms. Children with food allergies (other than nuts) must bring their own snack.
5. PLAYSCHOOL POLICIES & PROCEDURES
It is an expectation for parents to review the HHBH CA Playschool Policy and Procedure Manual prior to the commencement of the school year. The P&P Manual is available on our website and includes detailed information regarding all Playschool Policies (e.g. Health, Medication, Extreme Behavior, Late Pick-Up) and Procedures (e.g. Lock Door, Dispute, Sudden Illness).
6. PLAYSCHOOL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE (referred to herein as the “Executive”)
6.1 Executive Responsibilities
The Executive manages the affairs of the Playschool. All parental concerns or issues are to be directed to the Executive. The Playschool Teachers are responsible for the teaching and learning processes of the Playschool including curriculum review and content development.
6.2 Executive Composition
The Executive board positions are filled by election or acclamation at the Playschool’s Annual General Meeting in May. Teachers hold non-voting positions on the Executive. The executive board positions are:
a) President (non-voting);
f) Assistant Registrar & Advertising;
g) Class Liaison & Privacy Officer;
h) Website & Social Media Coordinator;
i) Non-Executive Committees Coordinator;
j) Community Association Liason; )
k) Past Playschool Executive Member (optional; non-voting).
Please see our website for detailed descriptions of each executive position job description, http://hhbhcaplayschool.com/board-positions.
6.3 Executive Meetings
The Executive hold monthly business meetings which are open to all Playschool parents. Parents wishing to attend an executive meeting and/or add agenda items, are asked to notify the Executive Secretary one week prior to scheduled executive meetings.