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Policy Information PDF Print E-mail

Welcome to The Acorn!

 

The Acorn - A School for Young Children
A 501 (c)(3) NONPROFIT CORPORATION

3501 Broadway; SATX  78209
(210) 826-8804
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theacornschool.net

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Tall Oaks from Little Acorns Grow



2017 – 2018 Policy Information

Welcome to The Acorn!
As the school year begins, there is a great deal of information we need to pass on to you.  We urge you to read this entire booklet and save it to refer to throughout the year.  If you ever have any questions regarding The Acorn policies or your child’s program, please feel free to call us.


In this brochure please find information on the following:
    Calendar
    Home Visits/Children’s Records
    Arrival and Dismissal - Carpools
    Visiting and Observing
    Teacher Pre- and Post- Sessions
    Late Fees
    Parent/Teacher Communication
    Tuition Payment
    Children’s Appropriate Dress for Play
    Outdoor Play
    Absences/Attendance/Health
    Policies and Illness
    Nutrition Policy
    Allergies
    Photographs, Media, Web site
    Birthday Gift Traditions
    Personal Belongings
    Child Safety
    Guidance and Discipline
    Parking
    Parent Participation
    Subbing Opportunities
    Field Trips   

Smoking is prohibited everywhere on The Acorn property, including in vehicles and on field trips. 

Acorn Calendar for the 2017-18 School Year

Aug.    31    New Child Orientation    See Class Letter for Scheduled Time
Sept    4    Labor Day    No School
5    First Day of Class   
25    Family Picnic at Kiddie Park    4:30 - 7:00; Potluck - Details TBA
Oct.    9    Columbus Day    No School
2 – 13     Dad's Days    Details TBA
20 - 22    Kindergarten Campout    Lost Maples State Natural Area
25    Kindergarten Day Off    Preschool Classes in Session
Nov.    TBA    Tour for Prospective/New Parents    10:00 a.m. (1 3/4 hr.; adults only)
6    Parent Conferences Start    Scheduled through mid-January
20-24    Thanksgiving Holiday    No School
Dec.    21-Jan. 5    Holidays    No School
Jan.    5    Staff Work Day    No School
8    Classes Resume   
15    Martin Luther King Day    No School
16    Enrollment for 2018-19 Begins    Current Families
20    Tour for Prospective/New Parents    10:00 a.m. (1 3/4 hr.; adults only)
24, 25    Alumni Enrollment for 2018-19   
31    Enrollment for New Families    by Appointment
Feb.    9    Acorn Fundraiser    7:00 p.m. Radius Center
19    Presidents' Day    No School
26-Mar.6    Grandparents' Visits    Days TBA
Mar.    12-16    Spring Break    No School
30     Good Friday    No School
Apr.    2    Teacher In-service    No School
6 – 8    Reunion Campout    Lost Maples: open to all Acorn families
23-26    Class Fiesta Events    See April News for Scheduled Time
27    Battle of Flowers Parade    No School
May    TBA    Tour for Prospective/New Parents    10:00 a.m. (1 3/4 hr.; adults only)
TBA    High School Reunion    1:00 p.m.
7-11    Mother's Day Celebrations    Days TBA
14, 15    Mud Days   
18    Last Day of Classes   
21,22    Parent Conferences    As Scheduled

Home Visits/Children’s Records


Each child will receive a home visit from his/her Head Teacher to help make the transition to school a successful one. The home visit gives the opportunity for your child to get to know his/her teacher in the comfort and security of their own home.   (If a child has attended the same class in which he/she is enrolled for the upcoming year, and has had the same head teachers, the family has an option of attending a “classroom visit” day, rather than scheduling a home visit.)
This policy book is one of several informative letters for parents. You were given a packet of several forms upon enrollment, which you should have completed and turned in at that time.  There are a few additional forms now available on the website, theacornschool.net, which we ask you to download, print, and complete before your child’s home visit. Please complete all forms IN TOTAL, so they will be ready on your home visit day.  The teacher will be picking up the completed forms, which are required for each student’s file.  If there is any remaining information needed for your child’s file, the teacher will obtain it on the home visit, as well.
Forms which you were given and should have completed at enrollment include:

    Student Directory Information
    Emergency Form; Please include all information required on the form. If a space is intentionally left blank, please write “NONE”.  Please do not skip any spaces. The Texas Licensing Board requires an alternate person (not mom or dad) be listed as a contact in case of emergency. You must complete the section “Persons Other Than Parents to Be Notified In Case of Emergency When Parents Cannot Be Reached”. Please make sure to bring any food allergies, such as to milk products, peanuts, wheat, etc., or any other chronic or contagious conditions to the attention of your child’s teacher.
    Permission Slip/Operational Policy Receipt/ Waiver and Release of Liability
    Volunteer Waiver Form (one per person)
    Parent Questionnaire
    Health and Immunization Form, completed by a physician, including an attached immunization record, with DTP, polio, MMR, Hib, Hep A, Hep B, and varicella.  Please note that children four years of age and older need an annual vision and hearing screening. All new students will need a Health Form completed before school starts. Those students who attended The Acorn last school year should have a current health form in their records; an updated form will need to be  completed and turned in after their birthday. 
    Emergency Care Plan Form (for allergies), as needed

Texas Child Care and Health Standards legally require that each preschool child have this information on file at school within one week of admission in order for that child to participate in the program.  To ensure that we will not have to exclude your child from classroom activities, please make sure required school records ARE COMPLETE by the first week of school.  We appreciate your cooperation in this matter.

Additional letters and forms now available on the website:

•    Class introductory letters
•    Lunch Bunch/Adventure Club information (for those enrolled; please confirm with your child’s teacher)
•    Volunteer Opportunities Form
•    Annual Fundraiser Information
•    (Kindergarten Only) The Race: Tortoise and the Hare Geography information

Arrival/Dismissal Procedures


Due to the large number of children arriving and departing at the same time, we will be using a drop-off and pick-up system so the parents do not need to get out of their vehicles.  Never leave your vehicle in the car line. If you choose to leave your vehicle, you must park to allow for the continued flow of traffic in the driveway.  (See Parking).  The school driveway is a one-way, so please enter from Avenue B and exit onto Broadway.  Please remember to pull forward as far as possible just past the gate or to the car in front of you.  This will help keep vehicles off of Avenue B and minimize waiting times for all involved.  Please do not use your cell phone or audio visual players during this time.  This is for safety reasons and also allows you to greet your child and have brief communication with the teacher. If you need to speak at length to your child’s teacher, a time to call can be arranged.  Thank you very much.
We ask that all children stay buckled up in their car seat until a teacher comes to greet and escort your child to their destination.  There should be no lap sitting or standing in the vehicle while moving. 
If you arrive late for drop-off, you will need to bring your child inside the building and make certain he/she is met by one of the teachers. See your child's Arrival/Departure Schedules.
Departure times can be a bit confusing in the beginning until we learn to recognize the vehicles and get the carpools straight.  Please be patient.  Until this time we ask that you roll down your window, so the teacher can see you clearly.  The glare from the sun hinders the teacher from seeing through the windshield.
If you arrive late for pick-up, your child will be brought to the office, where you may pick him/her up.  See your child's Arrival/Departure Schedules, pg. 6-7.  A late fee will be added to your account.  (See Late Fees.)
In case of rain, all children will be dismissed from the covered porch off the drive.
A child will be released only to his/her parents, family, or those whose names are on the emergency card, unless other prior notification has been made.  A parent should write a note or call us personally in a pinch.  We will not accept calls from secretaries, employees, etc., only mom or dad. We appreciate your cooperation and patience as we try to make pickup time go as smoothly as possible.
Dismissal times for the preschool and Kindergarten classes are staggered to help with traffic flow. If your family or carpool is picking up children in both preschool and Kindergarten, please be prepared to pick up your preschool child, then park and wait for the Kindergarten student to be dismissed from class.  You are welcome to supervise your own child or carpool briefly on the playground, but know that the teachers will be going back inside to complete their classroom duties.
Carpools

Past experience has taught us that it is best to avoid carpooling the first few weeks or so of school, or perhaps longer, to ease the transition of starting school. If you are interested in forming a carpool, a map is displayed in the meeting room on which the residence of each family at The Acorn is marked.  You can find those who may live in your area who you could contact to see if arrangements might be made.
On the subject of carpooling and sharing rides, because of our teacher’s duties for forty-five minutes before, and for an hour after school, it is our policy that teachers cannot bring any other children to school or keep them after school prior to going home.   (See Teacher Pre & Post Sessions.) Thank you very much for your understanding.




Kindergarten Arrival/Departure Schedule

Kindergarten teachers will greet their class from 8:40 to 8:55 on the driveway each morning. On Mon., Thurs., and Fri., pickup time is 12:00. Starting the second week of school and throughout the first semester, dismissal on Tues. and Wed. will be at 2:00 from the playground.  Thurs. will be added as a longer day in the second semester the last week of January, with dismissal at 2:00.  These longer days will allow for field trips and more extended activities.  Please pack a nutritious lunch for your child on these days.  (Please refer to our Nutrition Policy.) A late fee will be charged for those arriving after these times. (See Late Fees.)

Morning Preschool Arrival/Departure Schedules
The morning preschool classes are scheduled from 8:40 to 11:30. There will be a teacher outside to greet the children and take them out of the cars from 8:40 - 8:55.  Pickup time is 11:30. A late fee will be charged starting  at 11:45. (See Late Fees.)


Afternoon Preschool Arrival/Departure Schedule
The afternoon preschool classes are scheduled from 12:40 - 3:30. There will be a teacher outside to greet the children and take them out of the cars from 12:40 - 12:55.  Pickup time is 3:30.  A late fee will be charged starting at 3:45. (See Late Fees.)

Tuesday, Wednesday Extended Day/ Early Thursday Lunch/ Adventure Club
Lunch Bunch days begin the second week of school. If your child is enrolled in Lunch Bunch, please pack a nutritious lunch for your child on these days.  (Please refer to our Nutrition Policy.)

For morning preschool children enrolled in the Tuesday and/or Wednesday extended session, you may pick them up any time before 2:00.  For children new to this program, these extended hours can be long.  Please be sensitive to your child’s needs and pick him/her up earlier if needed, especially during the first few weeks of school.

For afternoon preschoolers enrolled in the Thursday early lunch session, arrival time is 11:10. Please note that the last day for ALL Lunch Bunch groups is the week of May 10th; there are no lunch bunches the last week of school.

If you are running late and  arrive after 11:45 for early Thursday lunch, please plan to feed your child lunch before their arrival, since the Lunch Bunch children will have finished up eating and will be involved in activities by this time.  Thanks!


Visiting/Observing


Although our normal arrival and departure system is outdoors, we want to urge you to park and bring your child inside as often as you want.  We want you to see what is going on inside and to be involved in your child’s school program.  If you would like to observe without being seen by your child, the main upstairs classroom has observation areas with one way mirrors, where you can watch unnoticed.  Downstairs, the newer upstairs classroom, and in the Kindergarten classroom you might be more easily seen, but welcome nonetheless.  Please inform the teachers or office when you wish to observe.

After the children have arrived and during class hours, you may enter the building through the main entrance by the office and kindergarten. Those doors lock automatically when closed, and, on the home visit you will be given a code number that will unlock the doors and allow you entry any time during the school day.  This code is for adult use only. When you do enter, please make sure to close the door behind you.  Do not allow access to any other unfamiliar people as you are entering. In addition, there is a video monitor and doorbell located at each entrance on the north side of the building, which will alert us to greet you.
If you visit the school at any time during the year and you have other siblings with you, we appreciate your keeping them under your supervision.  The teachers are involved with their classes and are unable to keep an eye on visiting children.  This is especially true on the playground where the children’s safety is so important.  There may be a time when you are waiting on the playground for arrival or dismissal time with a sibling; please be aware that when classes come outside to use this space, it is necessary for you to give them priority when using the equipment and activities.  If needed, you may have to leave the playground.  Please put any toys used away when you are done.  (The equipment is not intended for use by older children.)  When classes are not in session, the playground is closed.

Teacher Pre- and Post- Sessions

All staff meet before the children arrive for a pre-session and setup.  During that time we discuss interest areas, small groups, and activities to be offered that day and talk about the most effective ways to present them.  After the children are picked up, the staff meets for post-session to discuss how the children responded to all activities, the gains they are making, and the areas in which we can plan to help each child.  We keep written anecdotal records for each child which the teachers update during post-session.  And we give our staff feedback so they can constantly improve their teaching techniques.  These pre- and post- sessions are extremely important to our program.

Late Fees

There is a late fee for lack of punctuality, similar to that charged by other preschools.  In general, a late fee of $5.00 will be charged for the first 10 minutes that a family is late to pick up their child or carpool.  A fee of $1.00 per minute will be assessed thereafter. This fee will be added to your next month’s tuition bill.  If you are late, you can pick up your child in the office.

Please note that late fees will DOUBLE on all Fridays, the last day before vacations, and the entire week before our annual fundraiser.  We have noticed a tendency for parents to run late on Fridays and the last day before vacations, and that’s also a time when the teachers and office staff are participating in post-sessions and are looking to get on with their plans.  The week before the fundraiser is hectic in the office and we have neither the time nor the space to handle children whose parents are late. We hope that everyone will be punctual and that we won’t have to use this arrangement.  Thanks for your cooperation and understanding!

Parent/Teacher Communication
The children will call all the adults by their first names, and we invite you to do the same.  We believe in building a close, “family oriented” relationship with everyone at The Acorn.

Newsletters from the office and each class (or a link to news on the website) will be emailed to parents. You can always access the website for information.

Parent/Teacher conferences are scheduled twice a year with each family.  Fall/Winter conferences will be scheduled starting mid-November through early January.  Final conferences will be in May during the week after the children finish school.  Additional individual conferences may be scheduled anytime, as needed.  Feel free to e-mail or telephone your Head Teacher after school or in the evening to discuss any concerns or questions you may have.  You can check with your child’s teacher regarding convenient times at which she is available.  We strongly believe in maintaining clear lines of communication, and your teacher wants to hear from you.  Please note that teachers do not have access to their cell phones at all times during class time.  Therefore a text is not the most efficient way to communicate during the day.  Please call the office first; if unable to get through, please call Jo or Wendy’s cell phones (listed in your class introductory letter). Thanks.

Please inform us of any events in your child’s life that might affect his/her behavior, such as serious illness or a death in the family (including pets), separation of parents, parents traveling, etc.  We may be able to help your child at such a time, and an awareness of what is going through his/her mind is important to us.  In addition to your child’s Head Teacher, you are free to call Rich, Jo or Wendy anytime. Please remember that while this communication is important, pickup time does not allow time for a lengthy conversation. You are welcome to park and speak briefly to your child’s teacher on the playground to schedule a convenient time to call or visit.

At times during conferences, recommendations are made to parents that will help further the development of the child and be beneficial for his/her successful school and family experiences.  We appreciate open, honest communication with the parents, as we know everyone has the best interest of the child in mind.  Follow-through with such recommendations can offer the child a chance to succeed in areas in which there may be difficulties.  If a family continually rejects recommendations made and it is reflected in the child’s classroom behavior such that their behavior negatively affects the learning environment for the other children, then we reserve the right to terminate that child’s enrollment.


Tuition Payment

We request that you pay your child’s tuition in full for the semester, through December, if you are able; it helps the schools’ cash flow immensely.  If this is not possible, you may pay by the month and tuition will be due on or before the first of each month.  Please mark your calendars with a reminder for your payment..  Tuition not received by the 10th of the month will incur an additional $25 late fee.  The school also reserves the right to terminate a child’s enrollment for nonpayment of tuition.  Should that be necessary, the family would still owe all tuition and late fees due, and would be responsible for paying interest at 12% per annum until it is paid off. If a check is returned with insufficient funds, we will charge a $25 fee.  If a second check is returned, an nsf charge of $30 will be made, and tuition due after that must be paid in cash.

Please mail your check or bring it directly into the office; please do not send it with your child or give it to a teacher. Credit card payments need to be made in the office. Another method of payment would be to set up a recurring check payment with your own online banking establishment.  There are no refunds for missed days, whether due to sickness, your own vacation time, or cancellation of school due to some natural disaster (like flooding, snow, or ice in San Antonio!).  Please remember that once paid, enrollment fees, annual fees, and tuition are non-refundable for any reason.  If a child drops out, the family is responsible for paying tuition until another child takes his/her place.

Dress for Play

For day-to-day wear, please dress your child in play clothes so he/she can move around freely and comfortably and participate in all motor and outdoor activities without worry.  Every child will get dirty on the playground or in the art room from time to time, so please expect it and dress your child so it won’t matter to you.  Sandals or crocs are not appropriate, as the children are uncomfortable wearing them on the sandy playground and they can be a safety hazard; sports shoes work best.  Also, please leave cowboy boots at home, since it’s hard to participate in motor activities in them and accidentally stepping on others fingers, etc. is quite hurtful. We also recommend that if your child wears earrings or other jewelry, please refrain from hoops or dangling items that could interfere with their play or pose safety issues while moving about.



Outdoor Play

Our outdoor play time is very important and an integral part of our total program.  It is a wonderful opportunity for large motor development and social interaction.  We plan to play outside every day in all kinds of weather.  The only exception would be a hard rain. Whether it be for the heat, drizzle, or cold, make plans now to dress your child appropriately for all kinds of weather. It is essential that you clearly mark all outer clothing, including sweaters, jackets, etc. with your child's name.  Every year our lost and found is bulging with good clothing that was never labeled, which, if unclaimed, we donate to a local charity.

Absences /Attendance /Health Policies and Illness

We want to urge everyone at the outset of school to be aware of keeping your child home from school if he/she is obviously getting sick or is not yet sufficiently recovered from an illness to return.  As a child is recovering from an illness, the recommended practice is that he/she be fever  or contagion-free for 24 hrs. before returning to school.  If a child is listless, feverish, recently vomited or had diarrhea, or is showing signs of illness, sometimes he/she will still say they want to go to school.  Even so, they need to stay home.  No one likes to miss school, but it is unfair to all the healthy children to be exposed.  When you do keep your child at home, please call ahead to inform us, as it will help us to plan for the day.  You can call your Head Teacher the night before at home, or call school in the morning.  Also, if your child contracts something very contagious, like chicken pox, please remember that in this example the most contagious period is the 48 hours before your child breaks out.  Therefore it is very important to notify the school about that timing, as well as calling the parents of friends your child played with so they can be on the lookout for symptoms.  Another possible contagious situation which children are occasionally exposed to in public places is head lice.  Contracting head lice is not shameful, nor is it due to uncleanliness.  Lice are spread by person to person contact, or by sharing infested clothing, hats, helmets, etc.  While it is very inconvenient and a nuisance, it poses no serious health threat.  Nevertheless, it is important that we are informed at school.  If we are informed of a case in the school, we will immediately remove all hats, helmets, and soft elements in the exposed areas and place each child’s outer wear in individual plastic bags on their coat hook.  Parents will be notified as necessary. In the past, when a few Acorn children have had head lice from an outside source, it has never spread further at the school.  There are several online resources for more information.
While absences due to illness are necessary, we ask that you consider consistency in attendance, especially in Kindergarten, as you plan family trips and vacations.  History has shown that students benefit from regular  attendance.  We appreciate your cooperation in this matter.

If you know in advance your child will be absent on a given day for an appointment or a family vacation, please send a note with your child as far in advance as you can.  Thanks!

The Acorn will not dispense any medication at school.  No medication should be sent to school with your child.  Thank you for your cooperation in this matter.  Exceptions can be pre-arranged for emergency situations only; forms and legal requirements for documentation are available in the office.

Nutrition Policy

Snacks, whether provided by The Acorn or brought from home, will be nutritious and wholesome. This applies to snacks, lunches, and foods for special events, such as birthdays, Valentine’s Day, Halloween, piñata goodies, field trip snacks, etc. We ask that you refrain from sending cookies, ice cream or frozen yogurt, cakes, cupcakes, sugared or flavored drinks, or any other sweets.  Instead, we like for the children to bring their favorite food or snack (other than dessert).  Some ideas might be fruits, cheeses, vegetables, sandwiches, pasta, casseroles, chicken legs, tortillas and beans, pizza, etc.; any food your child especially likes that he/she would like to share with friends at school.  Beverages need to be whole juices or milk.  This is a wonderful opportunity to instill the idea that many foods are special, not just sweets.  The children get to try many new foods over the year that they might not otherwise.  This is a school-wide policy, so please avoid putting your child’s teacher in an awkward position by asking about providing an inappropriate food.

Parents count on us to keep this policy a consistent one, continually offering nutritious foods. We appreciate your cooperation in resisting the urge to send a sugary snack.   Please consult your child’s teacher in advance, to verify the date, time, and your idea for your child’s birthday snack, and we appreciate your cooperation in adhering to this policy.  Your teacher may be able to help you with ideas, or let you know if we’ve had four days straight of pizza or muffins.  Variety is always appreciated!

Allergies

There are times when in a class or lunch group a child is enrolled who has a particular food allergy or sensitivity.  As you are made aware of these, we appreciate your cooperation and understanding as you consider what foods to send. Reasonable accommodations will be made as necessary and healthy hygiene practices will be followed to ensure the safety of all students. This year we will once again provide a nut free environment. (Please refer to our Nutrition Policy.)

Photographs, Media, Web site
Throughout the school year the teachers will be taking pictures for class scrapbooks or projects.  As parents visit and observe their child at play with their friends, they may be taking photos for their own personal memories.  In addition, from time to time throughout the years, we have had opportunities to have local media visit the school to photograph or video the children in action.  Generally, these are quick candid shots in which the children remain anonymous.  In the past the children have participated in answering questions about their special mom’s before Mother’s Day, interacting with animals, “voting”, playing with grandparents on Grandparents Day, enjoying the rides at Kiddie Park at our fun fest, planning a class donation to the Red Cross or Food Bank, playing with the Spurs Coyote, or participating in the school anniversary celebrations.  If we receive advance notice of any such event, we will, of course, inform you beforehand.  But sometimes we do get very last minute notice of such opportunities, in which case you could be informed after the fact.

Also, The Acorn has a community web site with both public pages and private parent pages in which calendars, newsletters and school events will be posted.  The private site will feature photographs of the children in action as examples of some of the fun activities here at school. This private area is a secure site, which can only be accessed by those to whom we have given class pass codes.    This could include current families and teachers, and Acorn alumni.  Some photos and a slideshow will be available to the public - we ask that you initial your approval on the permission slip to allow your child’s images to be included in this Acorn promotional material. The web site address is theacornschool.net. 

If you would prefer that your child not be included in photographs, you must give us a written note stating your wishes; otherwise, it will be assumed to be acceptable.  Thanks!

Around the third week of school we will publish a student directory in the private section of our website, including names, addresses, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses of all students at The Acorn.  We assure you that this list is for parents only; it would never be sold or used for advertising or other purposes and we ask that you honor this as well.

Birthday Gift Traditions

At The Acorn we have a tradition of the children giving a favorite book, manipulative toy, Lakeshore or educational store gift certificate, poster, or other educational item to the school on their birthdays.  This has been such a success, and it goes hand in hand with our goal of helping the children think about what they can do for others, rather than what they are going to ask for and “get” for themselves.  The children have been really excited about giving their gifts.  Of course, this practice is voluntary.  It need not be an expensive item.  You may ask your child’s teacher or check the wish list on the website.  These gifts in honor of your child’s birthday are greatly appreciated and help build our libraries and supply of classroom materials.  Thanks!

Personal Belongings

We request that children leave their candy, gum, and favorite toys at home.  Certainly, guns, aggressive action figures and toys have no place at school.  These and some favorite toys are not appropriate for school and can be very disruptive to our planned activities.  Also, it’s very difficult to get these things back to you at the end of the day.  However, we love to have them bring things to show their friends like shells, leaves, bugs, etc.  These we can usually keep at school. Some classes have show and tell times, and your child’s teacher will let you know what types of things can be brought.

Please note that due to the plumbing in the school building, we cannot accept personal wipes for any child to use.  Thanks for understanding.

Child Safety


Texas law requires all teachers to report suspected cases of child abuse, molestation and neglect.  The state also requires that parents are informed of this law.  Also, as required, background checks are run on all staff and they receive annual training regarding these matters.  We want everyone to be assured that child safety is of the utmost concern to us all.
Copies of the Texas Minimum Standards and our Licensing Report are available for review in the office.
Texas Department of Family and Protective Services: 337-3399
Child Abuse Hotline:  1-800-252-5400

Texas Licensing requires that we inform you of our school emergency policies.  The Acorn teachers are trained in first aid and CPR, and will handle minor medical injuries.  In case of a health emergency concerning a child, we would call 911, call the parents, and transport the child to the emergency facility specified on the emergency card.  In case of an evacuation, we would relocate south of the school in the neighboring lot.  In case of extreme weather conditions, we would gather in the downstairs hallways away from windows, in restrooms, or in the basement. Security procedures are in place with the staff, and fire/evacuation drills are conducted as required by licensing.

Guidance and Discipline
The Acorn handles all of our guidance and discipline in a positive manner, and, in fact, we are careful to phrase everything positively.  If a child needs redirection, we suggest alternate appropriate behaviors; we also set reasonable limits, and are consistent in enforcing those limits. Guidance is individualized and appropriate to the child’s level of understanding.  A teacher may separate a child from the group to speak privately or to help him/her gain composure.  Teachers and parents can consult to encourage consistency in handling certain situations.  As teachers, educators, and parents, our goal is to help each child achieve self-control, good decision making, and the ability to make good choices.

Parking

When visiting or attending parent meetings, etc., please park in the paved parking lot, or in the slanted parking off the driveway in front of the school. When parking behind the playground off Avenue B, please avoid keeping your vehicle at the rear space, while blocking an empty space in front of you.  Also, unless you are just staying for a short time, please refrain from parking behind the teacher’s cars that are marked with an Acorn window placard.  They have staggered schedules, with some leaving mid-day, and you may be blocking them in.  Please, always avoid parking behind any car and leaving the school grounds for a field trip, picnic, or any reason.  This might prevent someone from leaving for hours!  For parents whose children attend school in the morning, we need for you to adhere to our dismissal times.  Because our morning teachers and staff already take up a number of parking places, we need to have enough available parking places for our afternoon teachers. We have designated a number of spaces behind the playground along Avenue B as afternoon teacher parking from 11:00-4:00.  Please avoid using these spots during these times.  Also, if parents linger on the playground taking up parking spaces, it creates a problem.  Please note that our neighbor’s drive at the back of the playground is his private property; there is no Acorn parking allowed in his drive at any time.  Thanks!
Parent Participation

The Acorn is a non-profit, tax exempt, educational nursery school offering programs to 156 children from the age of 2 years 9 months old through Kindergarten (age 6).  We have one teacher for every five or six children in our classes, which enables us to individualize with the children and ensures a great deal of personal nurturance and enrichment for each child daily.

As a result of our low student/teacher ratio and the high quality of the entire program, The Acorn operates at over a $75,000 yearly deficit.  The school has 501 (c)(3) charitable status from the Internal Revenue Service, and we cover our deficit and raise funds through donations from parents, grandparents and alumni, etc., and through our annual school fundraiser.

As a non-profit school, we count on parent involvement in helping with our fundraisers as well as with other volunteer opportunities that help The Acorn.  Please note that all volunteers are required to complete a release and waver form. If you are in a position to make a monetary donation, that will be greatly appreciated. 

There are also many ways to donate your time and abilities to help, too.  We expect each family to participate in our big annual fundraiser; there are opportunities to chair committees or to be involved with organization and prep, physical setup, etc.  All parents help sell tickets to the event, obtain prizes, and attend the event.

In the classroom, parents can volunteer to be a substitute teacher when the need arises, be a room parent, and help with special classroom events or with day to day activities.  If you have any office skills, there are opportunities to help with computer work, filing, phone calls, filling book orders or similar, etc.  We need your help and we expect all families to be involved.  As you can see there are many ways in which you can volunteer your time and talents to help your child’s school.  We certainly appreciate everyone’s efforts and participation.

Subbing Opportunities

There are occasions when, due to illness or events in their families, that teachers need to miss a day in the classroom.  In order to keep our excellent teacher/child ratios, we have a list of potential substitute teachers that we contact as needed.  If you would be interested in helping out at times as a sub, please give us a call in the office.  You can let us know what mornings or afternoons you might be available for us to call; usually you would be phoned early in the morning of the day we would need assistance, or sometimes the night before.  Parents most often use this as a way to volunteer in the classroom and help the school, and this is the assumed way it is handled.  But, certainly, if you would like to be paid for the subbing times, please let us know.  Thanks! Teachers will provide guidance regarding the day’s activities, and you will look to them for dealing with guidance, discipline, and issues with other children.

Field Trips

The field trips we take require parents to drive.  We need to ask every family to drive at least once during the year, while it will be necessary for some to drive twice or more.  At times we are limited to a certain number of chaperones at events, due to seating, space available, or cost of admission.  But don’t worry; everyone will get a turn.  You will be asked to help out at various times during the year!  A notice will be sent home before each outing to inform you of your child’s activity.  Each child must have his/her own seat belt or appropriate restraint seat (provided by the parent) as required by law for all trips.

When you accompany your child’s class on a field trip, we ask that you make other arrangements for siblings, so you will be able to devote all your attention to assisting the teachers.  They will be counting on you to help with the entire group; ushering the children, perking their interest in the surroundings and subjects being discussed, serving snack, etc., so in effect you are an assisting teacher that day.  Also, some of the trips may not be appropriate for younger children, so it is best to leave them where they will be more content.  This is a school-wide policy, and we appreciate your cooperation in this matter.  Each class may, at times, schedule a “family” type event which other family members might attend, but for the most part, educational field trips require your full attention to the class rather than your other children.  Thanks for your understanding!  Also, our no smoking policy will apply to any field trip chaperone.  In addition, we ask that you refrain from making or taking cell phone calls while on a field trip, so all of your attention can be dedicated to the children.  We also ask that all auto video players remain OFF during any field trip.

For the first few weeks of school, as well as on field trips and some other occasions, the children will wear name tags.  If by chance your child wears his/hers home, please send it back the next day.
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The Acorn Board of Directors serves to support and maintain the ideals and practices of The Acorn – A School for Young Children, and to insure its financial security and continuance into the future.
Notice of Non-Discrimination
The Acorn - A School for Young Children, Inc., a Texas non-profit corporation, 3501 Broadway, San Antonio, admits students and hires teachers on the basis of merit alone. All are afforded the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students and teachers at the school. The Acorn does not discriminate on the basis of any prohibited characteristic in administering any of its educational policies, admissions and hiring policies, scholarship and loan programs and athletic or other school-administered programs.

 

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