Parent Participation

Parents are important partners in the educational process. Teachers and parents work together to make a smooth transition from home to school, and to establish cooperative, respectful partnerships. Open houses, classroom potluck dinners, and parent-teacher conferences promote a collaborative effort in the best interests of the child. Parents are welcome to come into the classroom, help out on field trips, and serve on various committees such as Educational Resources, Class Parents, Library, and Fundraising. Parents also volunteer in the school’s library, reading to the classes and keeping the library in order.

Participation in school activities has always been a great way for parents to become better acquainted with the community and to make a significant contribution to the growth and development of the school. Beacon Hill Nursery School was founded on a cooperative basis and values all time, specialized skills, or resources that parents have to offer.

In order to ensure a physically and emotionally safe environment, it is important that parents are respectful of, and civil and courteous to, the school’s staff, other parents and students. Parental behavior that interferes with the orderly conduct of the school or is otherwise disruptive may result in termination of that parent’s child from the school, as described in Appendix E.

Home-to-School Transition

A comfortable transition is facilitated when children arrive and depart on time; children often find being the first or last a very stressful position. School begins with each class starting the day with a group meeting at which the day’s activities are introduced and ongoing projects are discussed. Children’s attendance at these meetings is important to them, their classmates, and their teachers and most importantly, to the acquisition of school skills.

The parents of a child new to the school should plan to be available to stay in the classroom at the beginning of the school year until the child has made a satisfactory adjustment. If a child is having difficulty separating from his or her parent, the teacher will assist them in working out an effective departure procedure.

Parent-Teacher Conferences

Parent-Teacher Conferences are an important part of our school’s commitment to home-school communication. These are adult-only meetings held twice a year. These are important opportunities to establish and strengthen the partnership between parents and teachers. Teachers are able to offer insights and glimpses of children as participants in a classroom setting, and parents can share information and insights that further build the understanding of these blossoming people in whom both parties are so greatly invested.

We encourage communication between parents and teachers and parents may request additional conference time if they wish. It is also very important for parents to share pertinent information with teachers. Changes such as separation, divorce, illness, death, a new sibling, a new sitter, moving, etc. help staff interpret and understand children’s behaviors and enable them to meet children’s individual needs.

2011-2012 Conference Dates: Thursday, November 10, Friday, November18, Friday, March 30, Friday, April 6

Confidentiality Statement for Parents

Information contained in a child’s record shall be privileged and confidential. The Beacon Hill Nursery School shall not distribute or release information in a child’s record to anyone not directly related to implementing the program plan for the child without the written consent of the child’s parent(s). The school shall notify the parent(s) if a child’s record is subpoenaed.

The school shall maintain a permanent, written log in each child’s record indicating any persons to whom information contained in a child’s record has been released. The log shall be available only to the child’s parent(s) and Beacon Hill Nursery School personnel responsible for record maintenance.

Distribution of Records

A child’s parent(s) shall, upon request, have access to his/her child’s record at reasonable times. This request must be made to the executive director who will respond within two business days after the initial request. The child’s entire record shall be made available to the child’s parent(s). The child’s parent(s) shall, upon request, have the right to add information, comments, data, or any other relevant information to the child’s record and to delete or amend any information contained in the child’s record. In such instances, parent(s) must request a conference with the executive director to discuss their suggestions and/or objections. Within one week after the conference, the executive director will respond to the parent(s) concerns in writing stating the reason(s) for the decision. If the decision is to modify the records, the executive director will immediately take steps to put the decision into effect.

When the child is no longer in the care of the school, the parent(s) may request in writing that the child’s records be transferred to them or any other person they identify. As per school policy, records are kept for five years.

Class Parents

Class parents are chosen for each class to assist the staff and the Board of Directors in organizing class functions such as the classroom Pot Luck Dinners, and the Enrollment Open House. They also organize school coffee hours and special class projects.

Class parents play a vital role in building community within each individual class. Their roles may vary depending on the needs of each particular group and teacher. The work of the class parents is supervised by Class Parent Coordinators.

Curriculum Night

Parents are strongly encouraged to attend Curriculum Night for their child’s classroom. (This is an adult-only event.) Teachers present the educational program of the class and share expectations and goals for children’s development over the year. It is an enjoyable and instructive evening, as parents become more familiar with each other, teachers, and their child’s educational program. It also lays the groundwork for a productive parent-teacher conference.

Curriculum Night 2011: Thursday, October 6th, 7:00p.m. – 9:00p.m.

Toys from Home

The learning environment at Beacon Hill Nursery School has been carefully planned by the early childhood experts on our staff. Articles brought in from home often distract from the quality of the experience for a child and may present challenges that are not conducive to a successful day. Toys with violent themes are not allowed in school. There are some children for whom comfort items are important. Parents should confer with the child’s teacher.

Notices

Please check your mailbox and your email daily to keep informed about policy changes, classroom happenings, and school events. Notices on bulletin boards in the hallways also help keep parents informed of important information and helpful resources.

Admissions

Applications for admission to the Beacon Hill Nursery School, accompanied by a $50 application fee, may be submitted beginning September 1 of the year prior to entry and must be received by December 1st. Applications for siblings must be received by October 15 to receive special consideration.

The associate director will contact families to schedule a visit to the school. These visits take place beginning in the fall through early winter. The visits consist of a tour of the school, an opportunity to observe in a classroom and an interview with the executive director and the associate director.

Enrollment contracts are sent out in mid-March. A signed contract with a deposit insures a child’s enrollment for the fall.

In the spring, newly enrolled nursery age children will visit the school in small groups. Newly enrolled toddlers will visit in the fall before the start of the school year. The schedule will be provided to parents. This serves as their introduction to BHNS and is helpful to the school in class placement decisions.

Visits are scheduled on an individual basis for children who are enrolled in late spring or summer. Children from the wait list will be admitted whenever spaces should become available.

Financial Aid

Financial assistance in the form of scholarship is available through the school. Parents who wish to apply should complete the School and Student Service (SSS) Application of NAIS (New England Association of Independent Schools). Applications and required documentation should be mailed directly to the School and Student Service. Applications must be received by SSS by February 1. The Financial Aid Committee will consider each application for financial aid. Applicants will be notified by mid-March.

Fundraising

Income from tuition does not cover the cost of operating the school and we rely on the generosity of our community to make ends meet. Each year roughly 20% of expenses are paid for with fundraising dollars. There are several ways we raise money each year.

The most important fundraising effort is our Annual Fund (formerly the Annual Appeal). Not only current families, but alumni, grandparents and friends of the school contribute towards the fund. Since dollars raised from this campaign go directly toward the daily operations and continuous improvements of BHNS, it is the most beneficial gift that you can make. Every gift, regardless of size, is important.

We also depend on the money raised at the Spring Auction, held in April. In addition to being an important money maker, the once a year event is also a great social affair. It is run by parents and includes a silent and live auction. Many of our quality auction items are donated from within the BHNS community.

Periodically, BHNS has specific capital needs. Several years ago we embarked on a capital campaign to pay for renovations of the building. This past year we completed Campaign 55 which raised $500K for our new natural playscape and our endowment.

Throughout the school year there will be other smaller fundraising efforts, including the Annual Book Fair helps pay for library expenses.

Parent Volunteers play an important role in supporting the school by donating time and energy. It’s a great way to feel connected to the school, meet other families, and show support for a place that does so much for our children. The many committees are always looking for extra hands.

Any parents interested in helping the school with fundraising activities should contact the Development Director.

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