Policies

  • The following is information regarding the procedures and general operation of our school. Please call the school if you have any questions.

    • Program Hours

      • Morning program – 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
      • Extensions (Afternoon Adventures) offered Monday – Friday until 3:00 p.m.
      • Doors open at 8:55 a.m.
      • Children must be picked up promptly each day at the end of their program or extension time.
    • Sign in and Out

      Following is the daily procedure for signing in/out your child each day:

      1. Upon entering your child’s classroom please note your arrival time on the classroom clipboard. You are also required to initial and list the person authorized to pick up your child. Upon pick up please note your departure time on the clipboard and again initial. Our state license requires us to record these times.
      2. If your child is to be picked up by someone other than a parent/guardian or those listed on your emergency card then the office requires a phone call or written note. Pick up notices are available in the lobby and can be handed in to the office at drop-off.
      3. The information on the emergency card from your registration packet will be used to reach you in case of an emergency. Please inform the classroom teachers and the office of any changes or special instructions.
      4. Only those adults you authorize will be allowed to remove your child from the building. The staff will check for a driver’s license or another form of ID for unknown persons that arrive at the school for pick up.
    • What to Bring

      Please bring your own disposable diapers and a change of clothes for your child if he/she has not been toilet trained. A change of clothes is also needed for all children. Clearly label all clothes and articles, including lunch boxes and all thermos parts.
    • Snacks

      A snack will be provided in the morning and in the afternoon. Our snacks include crackers such as saltines, graham crackers, cheese-its, animal crackers, and goldfish, Cheerios, various cheeses, cream cheese, apples, oranges, raisins and dried fruit, and popcorn. We offer low fat milk or water to drink. Special birthday snacks or cooking project snacks will be posted outside your child’s class.
    • Lunch

      Children must bring their own lunch with a drink. Children will be encouraged to eat the healthy portions of their lunch first. Any uneaten portion of your child’s lunch will be returned in the lunch box.

      • There is no refrigeration space for children’s lunches. You are required by law to include an ice pack in all lunches that contain perishable items such as dairy or meat products.
      • Pack at least one source of protein (i.e. meat, eggs or cheese) and a fruit or vegetable, a drink, and a napkin.
      • Avoid packing “yummy” desserts. Children who see these often skip the more nutritious foods.
      • Label all parts of your child’s lunch box and accessories. No glass containers!
      • No candy, gum or soda!
      • Do not include any peanut butter and/or other nut products in lunches.
    • Clothing

      Weather permitting, we go outside every day, so be sure to dress your child in appropriate clothing, including hat, boots, snow pants and mittens. The children are here to have fun while experiencing new things, so dress them accordingly. Please send your child to school in appropriate clothing including sturdy shoes (no heels, open shoes, Crocs or sandals).
    • Communication

      Parents are encouraged to visit the school, participate in school activities, join us for special projects and share with us their special talents and interests. Parents interested in becoming involved, including serving as a Room Parent, should see their child’s teacher or the Director.

      Parents are encouraged to attend special events that are scheduled during the year (i.e., Open House, Orientations, Parent Coffees, My Special Family Week, Parent Workshops, Lectures, Family Picnic, School Clean-Up Day and more).

    • Absences

      Please call to advise ZHPP any time your child will be absent or more than 30 minutes late.
    • Allergy-Aware Environment

      Due to the increase in food allergies ZHPP has become an Allergy-Aware Environment. Toward this end, ALL nut products must be excluded from snacks and lunches for the safety of children with nut allergies. Check with your child’s teacher about other allergies within the class when bringing a group snack to share.
    • Birthdays

      We love to celebrate the children’s birthdays and half birthdays (if they were born in the summer)! Please inform your child’s teacher ahead of time so she can suggest appropriate snacks to bring to school. We also have a birthday book program, a great way to add to your child’s classroom library. You can donate a copy of one of your child’s favorite books to the class. Bring your book to the office for the bookplate. Or choose from our gift selection. Note: Birthday invitations or birthday gifts may not be distributed at school.
    • Cancellation Policy for Drop-In Extensions

      If you have booked a drop-in extension and your child is unable to attend, it is mandatory that you call ZHPP to cancel or you will be charged as if you had attended. Please call by noon of the preceding day to cancel your space.
    • Conflict Resolution

      If a parent has a conflict involving a teacher, the classroom curriculum or class dynamics, that parent should speak directly to the teacher. If the parent is not comfortable talking to the teacher, or the concern relates to a school policy, please speak with ZHPP’s director, Monica Sommer or the Co-Chairpersons.
    • Discipline

      The adults at ZHPP will use age-appropriate positive guidance techniques that children understand and which help them experience positive social relationships and develop positive self-esteem. Our goal is to facilitate the development of self control in children.

      • Children are always treated with respect.
      • The teacher will: act as a positive role model; help children learn how to solve conflicts by problem solving; help children express feelings verbally; try to understand why a child is behaving a certain way; help children to learn limits in a consistent positive environment; and always respect a child’s feelings.

      The teacher will stop all destructive or abusive behavior under the following circumstances:

      • The social consequences of the behavior (hurt feelings, sad friends, interrupted play, etc.) will be addressed and stressed.
      • The child’s activity will be redirected by the adult; other choices will be offered.
      • If the child is unable to calm down, the child may be temporarily removed from the activities to another part of the room or outside the room in the company of an adult.

      At no time shall an adult in the school:

      • Physically harm a child
      • Use verbal threats
      • Speak to a child in a way that is disrespectful or may lower his/her self esteem

      We insist that all adults on our premises abide by our discipline policy.

    • Emergency Procedures

      In the event of a fire or other emergency in the school building, classes will be evacuated to a previously designated area outside the building. If necessary, students will proceed to the Zion’s Hill United Methodist Church building and parents will be notified by phone. Fire drills are held monthly on rotating days.

      In the event the Governor of Connecticut declares a state of emergency:

      • For your child’s safety and peace of mind, we would want your child picked up in a timely manner.
      • Children will remain indoors with their teacher. The school will listen to the Emergency Broadcast System and follow directions from town officials, state and or national authorities, including evacuation to emergency shelters if necessary.
      • As recommended by Connecticut State Health Department, ZHPP will have available on premises a 48 hour supply of the following: bottled water, flashlights and batteries, non-perishable foods, first aid kits, battery powered radio, battery operated phones, toilet tissue and hand sanitizer, and diapers and wipes.
      • We will refer to the contact number provided on your emergency card for alternate pick-up arrangements.
    • Field Trips

      Field trips are offered primarily to Fours and Fives as an extension of the learning experience. If a parent does not want his/her child to go on the field trip, it is the parent’s responsibility to make other arrangements for the child’s care during the time of the field trip. Under no circumstances is it ZHPP’s responsibility to provide alternative care for the child.
    • Late Arrivals

      Your child’s day begins at 9:00 am. During the first half hour of free play time, your child interacts and socializes with peers and participates in the various activity centers in the classroom. Children who often arrive late have difficulty being included in established play and miss out on many fine and gross motor activities. In addition, the late arrival of a parent, child, and sometimes siblings distracts the teachers and interrupts the flow of activities in the classroom.

      To alleviate the problems caused by children arriving late, parents who arrive at ZHPP after 9:20 AM must bring their child to the office. Your child will be escorted to his/her classroom and assisted with unpacking their belongings and joining the group.

      Late Pick–up Fees

      If you are delayed at pick-up time, please call. If you fail to do so, a late fee will be charged:

      • 15 minutes late – $20.00
      • 30 minutes late – $40.00

      If a child is not picked up after 30 minutes, the Wilton Police Department will be notified in accordance with State Law. The Director reserves the right to revoke a child’s registered space if this policy is abused.

    • Parent/Teacher Conferences

      Conferences for all students will be held in the Fall and Spring of each year. Informal progress reports are encouraged and available at any time. Feel free to contact your child’s teacher.
    • Toilet Trained Children

      If a child that is in the 4′s or 5′s class and wears underwear to school, soils his/her underwear you or your emergency contact in the event we cannot reach you will be called to come to school to pick up your child. If a child has three or more such accidents ZHPP reserves the right to refuse to allow the child to attend school until such time as ZHPP is reasonably certain that a further accident is unlikely.
    • Security

      In the event of a security emergency a member of the staff will call 911. The remainder of the staff will be notified over the walkie-talkies. Children on the first floor will be directed to classrooms on the second floor.

      The front door will be monitored by ZHPP staff at all times. The front door will be locked between 9:30 am to 12:00 pm and again from 1:00 to 2:30 pm. The side and back doors will be kept closed and locked at all times. The front, back and right side door have key pads to allow for staff to enter throughout the day. The key pad code will be changed annually.

      When staff and children are on the playgrounds, the staff will be notified by walkie talkies and directed appropriately to a classroom or the church basement.

    • Snow Day Make-ups

      A “snow day” is defined as an entire day during which school was closed due to weather. As with the Wilton Public Schools, delayed openings and early dismissals are not considered snow days and will not be made up. ZHPP’s policy allows for three snow days per year, per class without make ups. Any additional snow days, up to a maximum of five, will be made up. Make up days will be scheduled during the school year if possible or added to the end of the year, at the Board’s discretion.
    • State Child Welfare Law

      ZHPP complies with Connecticut State Laws that designate all ZHPP staff as “mandated reporters” of suspected child abuse or neglect.
    • Volunteer/Visitor Policy

      Office procedure
      • Any volunteer or visitor to the school will need to sign in the office and wear a name tag.
      • Any volunteer or visitor to the school will need to sign out at the office.
      • The office will maintain a running notebook of volunteers and visitors.
      Classroom procedure
      • Teachers will check for name badge that will confirm that the volunteer or visitor has signed in at the office.
    • Weather Emergency and School Closing

      In the event of unexpected severe weather during the school day, you can obtain up-to-date school closing or delay information by listening to or visiting the following:

      TV Stations
      • Cablevision Channel 12
      Radio Stations
      Web Sites

      In most cases, we will close and delay opening to coincide with the Wilton Public Schools. In special situations, the ZHPP Director may make a different decision based on the best interests of our children and staff. In either instance, ZHPP will be listed individually under the school closure/delay information on Cablevision Channel 12 or www.news12.com/CT.

      If there is a delay, school will start at 10:30 am. “Early dismissal” indicates the school will close at 12:30 pm with no extensions (Afternoon Adventures).

  • Please keep the name and phone number of your child’s physician updated at all times.

    • Staff Training

      All ZHPP staff members are required to attend a yearly workshop for OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration). In addition, our school nurse reviews with the staff procedures for avoiding the spread of infection in our environment and for identifying illness in children. All lead teachers and selected staff receive Connecticut Child Care First Aid training every three years and CPR training annually.

      There will be a staff member who has been trained in the administration of inhalant medication used to treat asthma on site during all hours when a child who has a diagnosis of asthma and who has a prescription for the inhalant medication to treat asthma is on-site.

    • Health Forms

      Without exception, all children attending ZHPP must be properly immunized. Parents are responsible to provide an updated health form/immunization record prior to the beginning of the school year. You will be notified during the school year if a new one is needed. The State of Connecticut requires that a current form be on file in order for your child to attend school.
    • Emergency Medical Care

      You or your emergency contact will be notified if your child is ill or injured while at school. If the illness or injury is serious, we will call your physician and/or emergency personnel. The staff does not administer medication unless it is a prescribed emergency medication for allergies. The staff is trained to administer Benadryl/Epipen to children who are experiencing an allergic reaction.
    • Emergency Medication

      As per state law, a plan of care and prescription orders signed by your physician are required before ZHPP is allowed to store emergency medication in a locked box in the school office. Please note, ZHPP requires two Epipens be contained in the locked box.
    • Illness/Injury

      Your child will not be admitted to school if he/she has any of the following symptoms:

      • Cold (runny nose, green drainage, congestion)
      • Fever (100.0 degrees or more)
      • Reddened eyes with discharge or crusted eyelids
      • Upset stomach (vomiting or diarrhea)
      • Rash of any form (small pinpoint or large blisters)
      • Head Lice

      If your child has any of these symptoms, please wait 24 hours after symptoms have resolved before returning to school. Parents are expected to notify the office immediately should a child have an illness diagnosed by the doctor as a contagious disease.

      If your child becomes ill while at school, you will be called immediately, and your child will be separated from the other children. Any child with a temperature of 100.0 degrees or higher will be sent home.

      In the event of an emergency situation, we will obtain medical care and then notify the parents or an emergency contact. If a child sustains a minor injury (ex: scraped knee or elbow), the teacher will inform the parents when the child is picked up.

    • Medications

      Medications will NOT be administered by ZHPP staff EXCEPT as follows:

      • Emergency medication (i.e., epinephrine) that is stored in a locked box in the school office.
      • Long-term medications for a chronic condition. If possible, medication should be administered to avoid school hours. If not, medication must be prescribed by a physician and stored in the original, labeled container in the locked box in the school office.

      ZHPP staff who have contact with a child in need of such medication will be trained by the school nurse consultant (R.N.) regarding type of medication, purpose, side effects, method of administration, documentation, storage of medication, etc. Follow-up contact by the nurse will continue for the duration of the medication orders.

      Under NO circumstances shall medication be carried to Zion’s Hill Preschool on the person of a child or his/her own belongings (i.e. juice bottle, lunch box, etc.). PLEASE COMPLY WITH THIS POLICY FOR THE PROTECTION AND SAFETY OF ALL CHILDREN.

      It is required by the state for the ZHPP staff to know if your child has been given any over-the-counter or prescription medication before arriving at school. Please inform your child’s teacher and fill out a medication slip (available in your child’s classroom) indicating what your child has been given. This information is helpful to the staff and critical if medical attention is necessary.

    • Registration Fee

      A schedule of annual tuition and daily rates is available online and at the ZHPP front desk.
      The non-refundable registration fee is:

      • $150.00 for first child
      • $50.00 for each additional child
    • Payment Schedule

      The tuition for ZHPP is calculated on a yearly basis and is payable in four equal installments due on:

      • March 1
      • September 1
      • November 1
      • January 15

      (There is a $25.00 fee for returned checks.)

      Late payments will be subject to the following fees:

      • 7 days – $40.00
      • 15 days – $80.00
      • 30 days – $120.00

      After 30 days of non-payment, space will be forfeited for the remainder of the year without a refund. Members whose accounts are not paid in full by January 15, will not be allowed to register for the following school year.

      Please speak to the Director in advance of tuition due date to make other arrangements to avoid late payment fees.

    • Drop-In Extensions – Afternoon Adventuress

      Charges for drop-in extensions are due on the day they are used and must be paid at drop off time.
    • Tuition Refund Policy

      If you withdraw your child from ZHPP prior to September 6, you may be entitled to a full refund of tuition paid, less a $100.00 withdrawal fee, if the following conditions are met: 1) the Preschool Director receives 30 days written notice; and 2) your child’s program/extension time is filled by a new member.

      If you withdraw your child from ZHPP on or after September 6, you may be released from your remaining tuition obligation only if your child’s program/extension time is filled by a new member. No refunds will be given for tuition payments already made.

      If you relocate outside of Fairfield County, you may be entitled to a pro-rated tuition refund, less a $100.00 withdrawal fee, if the following conditions are met: (1) your child is withdrawn prior to January 15 (2) ZHPP receives sixty (60) days written notice; and (3) your child’s program time is filled by a new member.

      If your child is accepted into a special education services program, you will be released from your contract, with no refund.

    • Tuition Assistance/Alternate Payment Schedule

      Tuition assistance is available, on a confidential basis, for families experiencing financial difficulties. Applications for tuition assistance are available from the Director. Also, families for whom the four installment payment structure presents a hardship may request alternate payment options. Please contact the ZHPP Director.
    • Fundraising Goals

      The cost of providing an educational and exciting environment for each student is not covered by tuition alone. Our current fundraisers create monies to help bridge the gap between tuition revenues and operating expenses. The top five operating expenses are payroll, payroll taxes, insurance, teacher benefits and rent which make up 88% of the school’s operating budget. Without fundraising monies, the school’s budget would run at a deficit. Monies collected in excess of operating expenses are spent on capital improvement projects.image