St. Matthew’s EEC’s
Policies & Procedures
Admission and Registration
St. Matthew’s Early Education Center encourages your admissions inquiries throughout the year. Please call the school with questions or to make an appointment to tour our facilities. We begin enrollment for the next school year in February. At the time of registration, a non-refundable fee will be required to officially enroll a student. As classes fill, a waiting list will be maintained in chronological order so that as vacancies arise, spaces may be filled in an orderly and fair manner. The registration fee will be due when the child is officially placed in a class.
Registration for the 2013-2014 School Year
In-House Registration for all attending students, siblings, & St. Matthew’s UMC families:
7 am Wednesday, February 6, 2013
New Student Registration:
7 am Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Registration for the 2013 Summer Session & Summer Enrichment Programs
- In-House Registration for all attending students, returning students, siblings, & St. Matthew’s UMC members:
- 7 am Monday, March 18, 2013
- New Student Registration:
- 7 am Wednesday, April 10, 2013
School tuition is paid on a monthly basis beginning July 1 and ending March 1. Child care fees are paid monthly, September through May.
Tuition and child care fees may be paid by check, cash, or credit card. You may also register for automated payments through the business office. Checks should be made payable to ST. MATTHEW’S EARLY EDUCATION CENTER. Please write your child’s name on the memo line of your check to prevent confusion, and leave checks in the lockbox outside of the office. The school offers limited tuition assistance; financial aid applications are due by March 1 for fall enrollment.
ALL PREPAID TUITION IS NON-REFUNDABLE.
A two-week notice is required for all withdrawals.
Late Fees for Tuition
- If tuition is not paid by the 15th of the month, a late fee of $25 will be assessed.
- If payment is not received by the end of the month, your child will not be able to attend until payment is made.
- Furthermore, if payment is not received by the 15th of the following month, your child will be withdrawn from school and child care.
- There is a returned check fee of $25.00. If a check is returned for a second time, payment must be made by cash or credit card.
If you are experiencing temporary financial difficulties, please see the Director or Business Manager before tuition is due and we will attempt to work out a solution in confidence.
Drop-off and Pick-up
Child Care: 7 am to 6 pm
AM School: 8:45 am to 11:45 am
PM School: 12:30 pm to 3:30 pm
Kindergarten: 9:00 am to 3:15 pm
Drop-off and Pick-up take place in the classroom. Please accompany your child to his/her classroom door where the teacher will greet you. At the end of the session, please return to the classroom and wait for your child to be dismissed.
If someone other than yourself is to pick up your child, the teacher must be notified prior to that specific “pick-up”. The person designated to pick-up your child will need to provide the school with identification, preferably a driver’s license.
Children enrolled in our child care program may be dropped off in the morning child care room anytime after 7 a.m. Anyone regularly picking up a child must be noted on that child’s emergency card. No one under the age of 13 will be permitted to pick up a St. Matthew’s student.
Late Fees for School & Child Care
A late pick-up fee of $10.00 per child will be charged for each 15 minutes parents are late to pick up from school or child care. This fee doubles to $20.00 after 6:30 pm.
The parking lot at St. Matthew’s is a very busy place. Please be conscientious as you drive through the parking lot because children and church members are present and can be unpredictable. The following guidelines are designed to keep you and your children safe.
- Park only in designated spots. Parking along curbs is strickly prohibited and is a ticketable offense.
- If you arrive and there are no parking spots available, please be patient. One will open up shortly.
- It is illegal to leave children in the car unattended.
- You must use the appropriate child safety seat. It’s the law.
- On days when the church has a special event, you will be told ahead of time and provided with an alternative drop-off or pick-up procedure.
- Patience is a virtue – particularly in our parking lot!
The EEC protects the right to privacy for pupils and their parents. Therefore, no one other than the teacher, administrative staff, and the director shall have access to the records of individual students. Parents and legal guardians may have access to their child’s records at any time under the supervision of a school employee. Anyone other than parents wishing to investigate individual files may do so only if the school has received written permission from the parent(s) prior to the visit.
If you are interested in applying to another independent school for your child, we are more than willing to complete recommendations for you. Please ask the teacher to complete the paperwork for you. Please provide her with the recommendation form AND an addressed, stamped envelope. Recommendations are confidential and will be forwarded directly to the other school.
Requests for school records from other schools will only be granted when a Release of Information Consent Form is signed by the parent(s) and all tuition payments are current at the time of the request.
The EEC believes that strong communication between parents, teachers, and the EEC community is the key to providing a smooth and enriching experience for your child. Quick greetings and warm wishes at the classroom door, daily emails, little notes, monthly newsletters, reading the daily notes outside the classroom, and volunteering are the best ways to stay informed and become involved. The Director would also welcome any questions or concerns you may have. You may reach her in the office, by phone, or by email — firstname.lastname@example.org.
Young children need help expressing emotions appropriately and successfully navigating the social world of the classroom and playground. As caring professionals, we will help children gain control of their emotions by building self-esteem, providing an environment and atmosphere designed to encourage success, and acknowledging that everyone makes mistakes.
Caring professionals respond to a frustrated child in the following ways:
- Laughing a lot – easing tension through humor
- Reinforcing good behavior
- Deliberately ignoring inappropriate behavior that can be tolerated
- Providing physical outlets and alternatives
- Showing affection
- Expressing interest in the child’s activities
- Explaining situations
- Teaching respect for one another
In our small community, staff members strive to apply these principals in an equitable and individually appropriate manner.
The school retains the right to dismiss a child if the child’s or the parent’s behavior is unacceptable. This would only take place after conferences with parents and/or a trial period that would allow time for improvement. If after a fair trial period the school chooses to dismiss the child, prepaid tuition will be refunded. There will be no tuition refunds after May 1 for the school year or after August 1 for the Summer Session.
Bullying will not be tolerated in our classrooms. Physical aggression, social exclusion, and verbal assault conducted in a deliberate and systematic manner constitute bullying behavior. While some of this behavior is a natural part of a young child’s development, bullying has a detrimental impact on the victim, the bully, and classroom dynamics. Teachers have learned to distinguish this behavior from others, act quickly to set clear expectations, and teach new reactions to trigger situations. Parents are encouraged to bring concerns to the teachers’ attention. Teachers bring concerns to the Director immediately. If bullying behavior is determined by the Director to be irremediable, the student could be expelled.
A complete physical examination and record of all immunizations for each child shall be turned in to the school office prior to the first day of school. The immunization record at school should be updated yearly. No child will be admitted to school after October 1 if records are not complete.
Please keep children at home when they exhibit symptoms of illness. If your child has been diagnosed with a communicable disease or virus, please notify the school immediately. The school is required to follow applicable regulations and will notify other parents as needed. A child will be sent home by the school if signs of illness are detected. Do not send a child to school unless he may participate in all activities. If you feel that an exception should be made, consult with the Director.
When is a child too ill to be at school?
- When the child has a severe cold or cough.
- When the child has had a fever within 24 hours.
- When the child has diarrhea or has vomited within the last 24 hours.
We like to help children celebrate their birthdays in school, and sometimes parents wish to send a treat for the class. You may provide a simple treat and napkins for the class. Appropriate treats include cookies, small cupcakes, or individual ice cream treats. Please, no cake, party favors, candles, or clowns.
Parents who wish to invite their child’s classmates to parties and special functions are encouraged to mail invitations. Please do not ask our staff to distribute notices and invitations. This request is out of sensitivity to those children not invited and who could easily have their feelings hurt.
Your child’s clothing should be loose and comfortable, preferably the kind they can manage themselves. Please put names on all clothing and be sure to dress your child for the weather. All children go outside to play daily, weather permitting. In most cases, if a child is too ill to go outside, he is too ill to be in school.
All children must bring in an extra complete set of clothing (underwear, socks, shirt, and pants) bearing your child’s name. These should be in a labeled, Ziploc bag. If your child attends school and child care, you will need a bag for both rooms. Please remember to provide seasonally appropriate clothes.
Private cars are often used to transport children on field trips. Parents will be notified in writing, prior to each field trip. The notice will include the date, time, place and means of transportation. Parents (and guardians) must give their permission for transporting their child on field trips and outings by way of private vehicles and/or mass transit. Please, no smoking in the car when transporting children on a field trip. To ensure the safety of school children on the field trip and to help you give your undivided attention to your school child, no siblings are allowed on field trips.
Child Safety Seats
Effective June 30, 2008, Maryland’s child safety seat law requires that all children younger than eight years of age be secured in a federally approved child safety seat* according to the safety seat and vehicle manufacturers’ instructions, unless the child is 4 feet, 9 inches or taller, or weighs more than 65 pounds. The child restraint must be right for the child’s size, age, and weight. If you cannot accompany your child on a field trip, you must provide a child safety seat to be used in another vehicle.
Emergency and Medical Procedures
- If your child has a medical condition such as severe allergies, asthma, or seizures, you will be asked to fill out a health action plan.
- In case of illness or injury, the parent will be called and must pick up the child within a reasonably short time. (This is a licensing requirement.)
- In case of simple injury: abrasions, skinned knees, and splinters, the staff will perform routine hygienic measures of washing with soap and water and applying adhesive strips. Ice will be applied to bumps. No topical medication, ointments, etc. may be used (according to licensing guidelines).
- When a minor injury occurs at the school, the parent will be informed and asked to sign a form acknowledging that (s)he has been notified of school accidents/incidents.
- In case of a medical emergency, parents will be called immediately. If circumstances require, emergency medical services will be called. The school staff will respond as necessary until rescue arrives. There is a first aid trained staff member on site at all times. In the event that hospitalization is required (Emergency Room Services), the child will be taken to the closest hospital unless the child’s emergency card indicates otherwise. Parents assume financial responsibility for such services.
Child Abuse and Neglect
St. Matthew’s Early Education Center believes child safety and security is its number one priority. As trusted caretakers, we are alert to the impact that adults can have on children, both in school and out. We are trained in the signs of abuse and neglect and take seriously our pledge to report our suspicions.
According to Article 27, Section 35 A, Annotated Code of Maryland, regarding child abuse, it is the responsibility of each staff member to report to the Director any suspected case of child abuse. Any such case shall be reported both orally and in writing to the Department of Social Services, Prince George’s County, by the Director of St. Matthew’s United Methodist Early Education Center. The written report shall be made within 48 hours of the contact. The oral report shall be made by telephone to the Dept. of Social Services. Both reports will contain the information required under (d) Form and Contents of Report, Article 27, Section 35 A, pg.2.
Inclement Weather and Emergency Response Plan
Although it is impossible to cover all potential problems and emergencies, the following is a general policy. We must deal with any incident on a case-by-case basis and of course this may change as events unfold. In any situation, it is ALWAYS up to the parent to make the decision as to what is best for the child.
1. In the case of an emergency or inclement weather, we will notify parents through www.schoolsout.com or leave a message on our office answering machine. Please call if you have any questions. 301-464-1813
2. EEC follows thePrince George’s County Public School (PGCPS) policy for closing SCHOOL due to inclement weather. If schools are delayed, we will attempt to open on time. If county schools close early, there are NO afternoon classes and Kindergarten will dismiss at 12:15 p.m.. Our child care program will remain open, as long as we can staff it appropriately and safely, but we ask that you pick up your child A.S.A.P. because our staff need to get home safely as well.
2. If PGCPS close for any reason other than inclement weather, the EEC program will operate normally as long as we are not impacted by this problem. This includes but is not limited to: bomb threats, shootings, tornadoes, earthquakes etc.
3. If outdoor safety is ever in question, all outside activities will be canceled, including field trips. All outside doors will remain closed and locked, including the main entrance by Fellowship Hall. People will be allowed in on a case-by-case basis.
4. As is our policy at all times, children will only be released to adults listed on the emergency information card, unless we receive a telephone call from the parent stating otherwise. If we do, a picture ID will be required.
5. If necessary, we will take direction from our local civil authority if any unusual situation arises.
Whether the EEC is open or not, parents must evaluate all situations and make the best decision for their family. We will certainly do our best to provide a safe environment for all children.
Payment for Snow/Emergency Days: If weather or other temporary emergencies dictate the school be closed, no refund in tuition will be given.
Please register for email (free) or text messages ($) regarding school emergencies.
While tuition covers the vast majority of our yearly budget, we often have a gap that needs to be filled. This is where our fundraisers become essential. While some schools have mandatory volunteer hours, supply fees, or fundraising quotas, we prefer to provide a variety of opportunities for families to become involved in raising money for our school. We understand that while one family may be able to contribute money, another family might only feel comfortable donating time or talent. We support your need to make those decisions for yourself.
HOW CAN PARENTS HELP?
1. Leave your child with the teacher on the first full day of school. Pupil-teacher understanding will come more quickly when the parent leaves the child in the teacher’s care from the beginning. Please resist the urge to remain in the hallway during your child’s class.
2. Encourage your child to feed himself, dress himself, tie his shoes and button his buttons.
3. Encourage your child to speak distinctly and correctly.
4. Let your child know that you are interested in what he is doing in school.
5. Choose appropriate books and read often to your child.
6. Do not give your child money, candy or toys to bring to school unless the teacher has planned a “show & tell” time.
7. Regularity of arrival and attendance is important to your child. Try to arrange your schedule so that your child arrives on time and misses as little school as possible.
8. Let them know how much you love them; praise them often. When they bring home a drawing, let them tell you about it. Encourage them with statements such as, “Tell me about your picture – I really like the colors you used. I can tell you had fun doing it.”
9. Come and share a morning or an afternoon with us when your child is in class. (Please schedule a visit with your child’s teacher.) Parents can learn so much about their own children just by seeing them perform in a new and different situation.
10. Relax! Let your child know that you are happy for him and he will be happy too.
Teachers and parents form a partnership when educating and caring for young children, so we encourage parents to be involved in our school. Please let your child’s teacher know of your area of interest or expertise – whether it’s accompanying a class on a field trip, sharing your professional skills or hobbies, helping in the classroom with a special project, working with an individual child or a small group of children, assisting on “work” days, “subbing” to enable staff to attend professional meetings and workshops, etc. When we work together, the lives of our children are enriched beyond measure!!