Student Handbook

 STUDENT HANDBOOK

2021-2022

The information contained in this Handbook is written for

A Lighthouse for Kids

 

A thorough reading of this material will acquaint parents and students with the school, its purpose, policies, and procedures.  All Parents, students, and employees are expected to read this handbook and adhere to the policies and procedures contained herein.

Welcome to A Lighthouse for Kids

Philosophy of Christian Education

 

A Lighthouse for Kids offers a flexible program to assist the child in his/her learning process. This includes a time of outdoor play, games, creative arts and crafts, music, math, science, discovery, story time and learning of letters and numbers.  The children are surrounded by a Christian atmosphere of respect and loving appreciation for each person and for the wonders of God’s World.  Our aim is to develop the total personality of each child by providing an educational experience of lasting value:

 

  1. Intellectually: By encouraging an enthusiasm for learning, exploring and first-hand    experiences.
  2. Physically: By encouraging experiences which will develop large and small muscle coordination and motor skills.
  3. Socially: By encouraging participation in group activities, getting along with others and developing a feeling of security and belonging.
  4. Emotionally: By assisting in emotion identification and coping skills.
  5. Spiritually: By daily times of devotion, Bible stories, prayer, songs, memory verses, and activities designed to give each child an awareness of God’s love for him/her.

 

A Lighthouse for Kids views itself as an extension of the Christian home, reinforcing the ideals, social norms, and beliefs of the Christian family.  Our program complements the values found in a good home by enabling the child to spend a part of his/her day in a world that is child-size, and planned so that he/she learns to associate with other children of his/her own age in group activity. All are welcome, regardless of gender, race, color or religion.

What sets us apart from mainstream schools is our belief that Christian education differs from secular education. We strive to build a strong foundation in education, self worth, and a sense of belonging in each child and to nurture the development of the character of Christ in every student.  The ultimate purpose of A Lighthouse for Kids is to provide quality education in a Christian atmosphere where children can grow in all areas of life.

History

A Lighthouse for Kids was brought to life in 2014 when they recognized the need for quality, secure and nurturing childcare for corporate and special events was realized.  Family oriented events and gatherings were lacking the adequate support for children of parents.  In 2015 Reese and LoriBeth Shaffer were presented with an opportunity to begin ownership and leadership of A Lighthouse for Kids.  The mobile childcare company has seen great success in providing childcare at numerous corporate and special events where families attend and need support for their children.

Now they are expanding their vision.  Reese and LoriBeth have seen the need to establish the same level of quality, secure and nurturing child education in a locally owned and operated facility in Sherman, Texas.

Beliefs and Core Values

Through the leadership and guidance of Reese and LoriBeth Shaffer, A Lighthouse for Kids has been providing quality faith based childcare services to our military families and faith-based organizations since 2015.  They have a proven track record, knowledge and expertise to expand their vision to include a locally owned and operated premier facility as well as continuing to grow the mobile side of the business. Reese and LoriBeth have a genuine heart to assist parents in nurturing their children to their brightest future!

Admission and Payment Policies

Non-Discriminatory Policy

A Lighthouse for Kids services students ages 18 months through 2nd grade.  We seek students from all ethnic, cultural, racial, and socioeconomic backgrounds who seek to benefit from the educational services offered by A Lighthouse for Kids. We make available, to students, of any race, color, or national and ethnic origin all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally made available to our students.  We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, or national and ethnic or socioeconomic origin in the administration of A Lighthouse for Kids educational policies, admissions, and all school related policies.

Application Procedures:

  •  Read carefully through the handbook and registration information, noting any questions you may have. After reviewing all information provided in the enrollment packet, contact us via email or by telephone for any additional information.  If you desire, call the Director for a tour of the center.Fill out the enrollment forms completely for each child and return them to the front office with the required documents.
  • Arrange an appointment with the Staff and Admissions Director for an interview. Following the interview, the parent(s)/guardian(s) will be notified as an opening becomes available.  Due to small student/teacher ratio, enrollment is limited.

Type of Enrollment:

 Full-time – Monday – Friday     8am-3pm

No Part-time attendance.

  • Fees:
  • Due at time of enrollment and reoccurs annually each August.
  • All fee’s are Non- Refundable.
Age Group

Registration

Fee

Annual

Curriculum Fee

 

 

 (18 months -2yrs)

 

K3-2nd

$75.00(if Paid by 7/15/21$150 after 7/15/21)

$75.00(if Paid by 7/15/21$150 after 7/15/21)

 

NA

 

$400

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer Camp

 

 

$125.00

 

 

TBD

 

 

Payment:

  1. Tuiton is charged monthly can be paid WEEKLY on the Friday BEFORE the week care is provided, see the office for payment schedule.
  2. Accounts may be charged an additional $25 for late payments unless other arrangements have been made with Reese or LoriBeth Shaffer.
  3. A fee of $30.00 may be charged for insufficient funds of bank returned checks. If the bank  charges a failed attempt charge for credit  card, that fee will be passed on to you.
  4. Accounts that are left unpaid will be turned over to a collection agency.
  5. Each family is responsible for payment of the spot reserved whether they are there or not. The spot is reserved and non-payment will release your spot and place you on the waiting list.
  6. Payment is required during anytime the school is forced to shut down due to natural disasters, pandemics, severe weather or any other occasion that the school has no control over.

Late Pick-Up Fee:  For students enrolled in our program there will be a charge of $5.00 per minute per child after 5:30PM.  This fee will be calculated per child and billed to the appropriate account and will be due immediately.

Absences:

When a child is enrolled for a specific time, tuition is charged whether the child attends or not.  There is no automatic reduction in tuition for absence from the center. This is due to the fact that staff and expenses must be paid regardless of attendance of children.

Returned Check Policy:

For any returned check, $30.00 plus the bank charge-back fee will be automatically charged to your account as a processing fee. Checks will not be deposited, and you are to pick up the check and pay the amount of the check, service charge and bank charge-back fee in cash or by money order.

If two checks are returned, you will be required to pay all fees from then on by credit card, money order, or cash.

Termination of Students:   Students may be terminated for the following reasons:

  1. If tuition payments are overdue.
  2. For behavior inappropriate to the health, safety, and welfare of the other children and staff. NO REFUND WILL BE GIVEN ON TUITION FOR THE REMAINDER OF THE MONTH AND NONE ON CURRICULUM IT MUST BE PAID IN FULL.

Withdrawal:   A two-week notice should be given to the Director in writing prior to a child being withdrawn, tuition is expected until the two week notice is completed.

 

Illness and Special Needs

General Health:    Every possible effort is made to provide a wholesome, healthy atmosphere for the students of A Lighthouse for Kids. There is a real correlation between a student’s health and his/her enjoyment and ability to learn at full potential.

No child with a contagious illness or condition will be allowed to attend the center. If a child is diagnosed with any form of contagious illness or condition, a doctor’s note stating that the child is no longer in danger of infecting others will be required before that child is allowed to return to the center.  This applies to siblings  as well.  If a child becomes ill at the center, the child will be isolated as much as possible, and kept as comfortable as possible while the parent/guardian is called. A parent or other authorized person is expected to come immediately when called regarding a sick child. It is the responsibility of the parent/guardian to keep phone numbers current with the office for such emergencies. A parent/guardian must have an emergency contact available in the event the parent/guardian is unable to pick child up immediately.

Accidents:  Diligent precaution is taken to protect each child, but some accidents/injuries are inevitable.  In case of an injury, the Director and/or staff will make a decision as to the seriousness and will notify the parent/guardian immediately if warranted.  Parents/guardians will always be notified when more than minor first aid or off-campus medical attention is needed.  The staff will attempt to notify the parent/guardian at the end of each day of minor accidents.

Acute Illness or Serious Injury:  If an emergency requires immediate attention and parents/guardians cannot be located, the Director and/or staff will seek medical attention as per the signed authorization form completed at the time of enrollment.

If emergency medical attention is required, students will be taken by ambulance to the Texoma Medical Center

Immunization Requirements:   Parents are responsible for seeing that their child has the necessary immunizations required for children entering A Lighthouse for Kids.  It is the responsibility of the parent/guardian to ensure that immunization records are kept up-to-date in their child’s file.

Insurance: It is the sole responsibility of the parents or guardians to obtain the appropriate medical insurance for their child(ren).

Medication Policy:   No medicine will be given without written permission from the parent/guardian.  All medication must be labeled with the child’s full name and the directions for proper dosage and times to be given indicated.  All prescription medicine must be in the name of the child in order to be administered.

If a child has a chronic medical problem, the parent/guardian may sign a medication authorization for up to a six-month period for prescribed medication to be given when symptoms occur.  Parents/Guardians must update these medication authorizations at the end of the six-month period.

Medical Release: The medical release form contained in the enrollment packet must be on file in the office before the student’s first day of attendance. This gives authorization for school personnel to obtain medical help for the student in case of an emergency in which the parent or guardian cannot be reached.

General Information

 Animals on Campus:  Children are not allowed to bring their pets to school.

Arrival And Dismissal:

  1. Children must be brought into the school by an approved adult.
  2. The child must be received by office personnel and pass the health screening     before the adult may leave.
  3. Children will be released only to adults who have been authorized on the child’s restricted pick-up form.
  4. A written note from the parent or guardian is required for a child to be released to someone other than those listed on the child’s restricted pick-up form. A valid driver’s license must be presented and copied in the office before the child will be released.

Daily Schedule / Hours of Service:

  • The center opens at 7:00 a.m. and closes at 5:30 p.m.
  • The center shall be in operation five days per week, Monday through Friday, except for certain holidays. Our center calendar year runs August through August. We will offer summer camp programs during June & July.
  • All children must be dropped off no later than 8AM.
  • Late Fee: A fee $5.00 per minute per child will be charged if a child is not picked up by 5:30p.m.
  • The afternoon snack begins at 3p.m.
  • Parents need to inform a Director and their child’s teacher if their child is allergic to milk or any other food items and a doctor’s note will be required.

Attendance:   Children should be in regular attendance and on time for class sessions in order to get the maximum benefit from the program.

Calendar:   The program runs from August through August.  Summer programs will be announced and charged separately for June and July for siblings of attending students.  Subject to availability.

Holidays and closings:  

  1. A Lighthouse for Kids allows four class parties throughout the year. The following guidelines will be followed in respect to celebration and emphasis:
    a. Fall – Emphasis on the Thanksgiving theme and the Reformation
    b. Christmas – Emphasis on the birth of Christ
    c. Valentines – Emphasis on the importance of Christian love
    d. Easter – Emphasis on the death and resurrection of Christ
  2. School Holidays –All school holidays and closings will be posted on our yearly calendar and posted in the office.

Staff Training Closure – A Lighthouse for Kids will have One scheduled In Service Training day, this day will be posted annually on the calendar.

Pictures and Publicity:  A Lighthouse for Kids will periodically photograph and/or videotape many special events. In order for a child to be not be photographed for use by the center for publicity and teaching purposes, written consent by the parent/guardian must be given at the time of enrollment.

Meals And Snacks:
A Lighthouse for Kids believes that children benefit most from experiences that are reminders of home and family. Their meals are eaten together with independence and self-help skills encouraged. Throughout the school year they are encouraged to set their own tables, set up their own lunch contents onto a plate, and practice appropriate table manners. These skills, we believe, are important to their everyday lives. The center will provide breakfast, lunch and afternoon snack for the students.

 Curriculum and Learning Environments:

A Lighthouse for Kids is dedicated to giving each child the maximum level of opportunity to succeed and in this pursuit, we understand that each child learns and grows at his/her own pace and in his/her own way. Each child will be assessed through documented observation by the teacher. This knowledge is used to design a learning environment and lesson plan that will suit every child in the classroom.

 

ECE Program:

  1. Infants and Infant/Toddlers – As the youngest of our center’s students, we understand that these children are not here to merely be babysat. Our teachers are equipped with the skills to help each of them grow physically, emotionally, spiritually, and academically. Teachers are trained to create an environment that is familiar, comfortable, and controlled.
  2. Potty Trainer and Two Year Olds – This age group of children will be provided with the skills to do things on their own. Beginning independence will be encouraged in all areas. Their environments are set up to provide easy access to all materials for learning and to promote independent choice and personal skill enhancement.
  3. K3 through K4’s & Kindergarten – These children are being prepared for their upcoming transition to the Ambassadors School Program. Their environments are more structured with a classroom feel. Their learning is centered on basic academics such as phonics, language arts, math, literature and drama.All age groups in variation of difficulty according to age a maturation levels include learning in the following areas:
    1. Creative media: clay, play dough, painting, pasting, chalk, and crayon.
    2. Music appreciation: singing, rhymes, and instrument discovery.
    3. Readiness program: formal subject matter to provide experiences which will build
    4. Motor development skills: developing large and small muscle coordination through indoor and outdoor games and play.
    5. Simple Bible stories: with personal application, prayer participation, scripture memory and daily devotions.
    6.Health, safety, and manners instruction: designed to help children in these vital areas of their development.

     


    A Lighthouse for Kids
    program believes that preschool can and should be more than a playtime experience. A carefully supervised and balanced program that is in correspondences with the latest and most accurate child development research is offered to assist the child in his/her learning process. It is a structured program, but one that is flexible for the needs and feelings of each child.

 Discipline Philosophy:   Parents and teachers are partners in the correction and disciplining of children.  Hebrews 12:11 says, all discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness (or right living).
Discipline is an on-going process and is an essential component of a healthy, successful life.  The goal of A Lighthouse for Kids is to help the child learn self-control.

 Staff shall:

1. Provide guidance on the child’s level of understanding and stage of development. Staff will distract or redirect the child’s inappropriate behavior by giving alternatives to unacceptable behavior and explaining on the child’s level, what the limits are and what acceptable behavior is.
2. If necessary, the child can be sent to a designated “Quiet Area” to regain their self-control. This is to allow the child to understand that unacceptable behavior must be stopped and/or allow the child time to regain control of himself/herself, give an apology for the misbehavior. The teacher/aide will reassure the child with a friendly gesture.
3. If a child is physically hurting himself/herself, other children, or a staff member, the child may be sent to the Director’s office to be allowed time to regain control and/or wait for a parent/guardian’s arrival.
4. Parents will be called if necessary.

A Lighthouse for Kids believes that a firm, but gentle, calm, loving and consistent approach to discipline is most effective to the emotional and behavioral development of the child. 

Although we do not foresee having discipline issues, we have established guidelines for appropriate behavior. Our goal is to provide high quality education and as a team; we are committed to guiding all children and staff to practice Godly character. We will, “…Love one another as I have loved you.”  John 15:12, We will, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. “Ephesians 4:32, We will: “let our speech be with Grace” Colossians 4:6

Child Abuse:   Suspected child abuse must be reported.  This applies equally to all children and whether the abuser may be a member of the child’s family or the center staff, the issue will be dealt with according to the law.  Every person who has reason to believe that a child has been abused is mandated by the law to promptly report suspected abuse.  Failure to do so is a misdemeanor.

 Child Custody Policy:   If divorced parents have joint custody of the child, the staff will release the child to either parent without regard to whether the particular parent is to have custody of the child on that given day.

When a court designates custody of a child, or if a court restrains contact with a child, a certified copy of the court order must be on file in the office in order for the conditions to be followed by staff.  A Lighthouse for Kids cannot restrict either “parent” access to the child unless the order is on file. 

 Parent/Guardian & Staff Communications: The primary goal of A Lighthouse for Kids is to provide the best possible care and education for each child. In order to achieve this goal, good communications between parents/guardians and staff is necessary. Parents/Guardians are encouraged to participate in the orientation meetings and parent/teacher conferences. Parents/Guardians are encouraged to utilize the following in order to keep in communication with staff:

  1. Communication Folders-Daily Sheets and/or Daily Folders – these are completed for each class and give a summary of daily activities. These will have a place for parent notes for the teacher to be checked during the morning session.
  2. Parent/Guardian phone calls (during hours of operation)
  3. Letters to staff / Memos
  4. Parent Bulletin Board – used to display informative media, daily schedules and any pertinent information concerning classroom activities.
  5. Pamphlets or articles are available for parents to pick up in the entryway.
  6. Annual Parent Survey – given in the spring is used to identify strengths and weaknesses of the program and to evaluate the program’s effectiveness in meeting the needs of the child and parent/guardian.

Parent/Staff Meetings:

  1. Orientation – held prior to the first day of school. Parents and students meet with their teacher and visit their classroom so that students may become familiar with both. All parents are requested to attend this very important meeting. Other parent meetings are scheduled four times per year during the school year. Meeting dates and times will be posted in the office in advance.
  2. Parent/Teacher Conference – Daily contact between parents and teachers is encouraged. Appointments may be made with the Director or child’s teacher for further discussion as needed.

Statement of Respect for the Role and Influence of Parents/Guardians:  A Lighthouse for Kids is a firm believer in the roles and influences of the home and family. We respect the fact that parents/guardians are the primary caregivers of the child and that we are just an extension of the learning and care experienced in the home. We will honor and respect all religions and beliefs outside our own and strive to assist you in keeping your practices and beliefs sacred to your child.

Complaints Procedure: If a parent or guardian has any concerns or complaints about the care of their child or the procedures surrounding him/her, they may request a Grievance Form from any of the teachers or staff. Simply fill out the form and return it to the front office. Someone will get with you as soon as possible. Also, the parent is encouraged to speak with the Director. 

 Special Concerns:   Parents should notify their child’s teacher of any problems or events which may excite or be upsetting to their child.  Events such as the death of a pet, visit by grandparents, birth of a sibling, or a parent being away for an extended period of time, may cause a child to be excited, tense or upset.  Knowledge of such occurrences will help the teacher to work with parents to meet the special needs of their child.

Student Dress Code: 

 Daily Wear – Children should arrive at school dressed ready for play in simple washable clothing appropriate for the season. 

A Lighthouse for Kids requests that the following not be worn:

  1. Clothing that depicts any character of violent or evil connotation.
  2. The Director will maintain the final decision as to inappropriate and/or distracting clothing not acceptable to our standards.
  3. All children must also have at least one extra set of clothing (3 sets for children 2 and under)to be kept at the center at all times.

    Outdoor Play – Children need fresh air and exercise daily. Outdoor play is scheduled for all classes including infants and toddlers, weather permitting. During the winter months outdoor schedules are planned with limited time frames.  In cold weather warm coats, hats and mittens need to be sent for the child to wear during out-door play.  In the heat of summer, playground times are scheduled for early mornings or late afternoons.

    Water activities, sand play and occasional bathroom accidents necessitate an extra set of clothing be kept at the center at all times. All extra clothing should be marked with the child’s name. If wet or dirty clothes are sent home, a clean extra set of clothes needs to be returned the next morning A Lighthouse for Kids is not responsible for lost or damaged clothing or articles. However, please make sure all clothing is labeled with your child’s name to prevent as much loss as possible.  

    Upon admittance to the center or advancement of programs, parents/guardians will be given a list of items that the child will need. These items will need to be brought with the child on the first day of attendance and kept current throughout the year.

FIRE & Tornado Drills:  Fire drills are conducted monthly with specific procedures for staff and children to follow in case of fire.  Appropriate fire evacuation plans are posted in each classroom and other designated areas. The fire drill is conducted and documented on a monthly basis.

IN THE EVENT OF AN EVACUATION – The entire center will vacate the building. This area is a fenced area for the children to remain in a designated area until parents arrive or where they will be housed until parents/guardians can make arraignments to pick up their child(ren).

 A tornado drill is conducted and documented every three months.

Staff Qualification:   Training is required annually for all staff.  Several staff members may have Bachelors’ Degrees, Associate Degrees, Certificate of Mastery in early Childhood and most, if not all, are trained in adult, child, and infant CPR, choking, First Aid, AED operation, Blood Borne Pathogens and Infection Control.

Welcome to all families partnering with us to
create Life Long Learners.