The WESD Preschool department recognizes that the parent is the first and most important teacher and influence in a child’s life. We encourage families to participate in classroom activities such as assisting in the classroom, accompanying the class on walking field trips or helping with special events. We also invite families to share cultural and family traditions and celebrations with their child’s classroom. It is our goal to engage families as partners in the learning process. Curriculum activities and goals are shared with families at orientation in addition to child outcome and assessment goals. Parents can provide input into the curriculum daily, at the two parent conferences, on home visits and/or parent events.
The WESD preschool programs admit children who live within Washington Elementary School District boundaries and meet eligibility requirements. Children are eligible for the Head Start programs based on family size and income level. Children must be 4 years of age by August 31st of the current school year. At two locations, children must be 3 years of age by August 31st of the current school year.
Due to program space available at each school, some sites do not offer preschool programs or extended care for children younger than kindergarten.
- Head Start class size is maintained at the ratio 17 children to 2-3 adults for 4 year old classrooms.
- Head Start class size is maintained at the ratio 15 children to 2-3 adults for 3 year old classrooms.
- Head Start PLUS class size is maintained at the ration of 20 children to 2-3 adults.
Suspension and Expulsion
The beginning years of any child’s life are critical for building the early foundation of learning, health and wellness needed for success in school and later in life.The interaction children see around them teaches what to value and how to builds relationships at home and school. Teachers create a school family to lay the groundwork for a safe, connected culture where problem solving is possible.
In Washington Elementary District, Head Start PLUS preschool students are given opportunities and support to develop social/ emotional skills as well as academic skills. This is supported by using the Creative Curriculum for Preschool and Conscious Discipline. All children receive a developmental screening (ASQ) in conjuction with the parents. They also receive a social/ emotional (DECA) screening.
Sometimes a child may demonstrate developmental behaviors that result in injuries to him/herself or others (e.g., biting, hitting, scratching, pushing, running from staff etc.) or have needs that may require intervention, treatment or instruction beyond what is available at Head Start/PLUS. In the event of reoccurring challenges with a child or children, staff may need to collaborate with social/emotional and/or behavioral experts to help give any child the best foundation for success.
Suspension and expulsion can influence a number of adverse outcomes across development, health, and education. Reasonable efforts will be made to work with the child and his/her family. An action plan may be put in place for the child to receive the most appropriate services. Please refer to the Disenrollment from Head Start plan.
Search to Serve Special Needs Services and Preschool 602-347-4850
Sign In and Out
A complete signature from a parent/guardian or designated responsible adult is required to sign their child IN when arriving and OUT when departing. The sign-in sheet will be in the classroom with your child’s teacher. Children cannot be signed into the classroom until class time begins. Teaching staff are preparing the classroom environment and are unable to sign children in early.
Release of Children
Persons picking up a child must be eighteen (18) years or older. It is the responsibility of the parent/guardian to inform the teacher if an adult other than authorized people that are listed on the child’s emergency card will be picking up a child. In the case of an emergency, phone authorization by the parent/guardian may be provided. Individuals will be required to show proof of picture ID to staff.
Parent/guardian is required to notify teaching staff of any changes such as address, phone number, or authorization to pick up a child. This will be recorded on the child’s emergency card immediately.
When only one parent has legal custody of a child, the center must have a copy of the legal document on file.
Late Pick Up
If your child is not picked up in a timely manner, emergency contact will be notified to pick up your child. Please be on time. See Tardiness Guidelines.
A child left longer than one (1) hour will be considered “abandoned” and Department of Child Safety (DCS) and/or the Police Department will be notified.
Please notify the classroom staff whenever your child will be absent due to illness or other reasons. Arizona State Law requires that any communicable disease be reported immediately. It is important that we inform all of our families of any exposure as quickly as possible. Refer to the Head Start Attendance Guidelines.
Children who are not enrolled in a preschool class are not allowed in the classroom during classroom hours due to safety and supervision concerns.
Health, Nutrition & Safety
Please notify the preschool instructional staff of all illnesses. Your child will be ready to return to school after an illness if:
- No fever for 24 hours without medication
- Mucous from nose runs clear
- No constant or heavy cough
The preschool instructional staff must be notified of asthma or medical concerns and all allergies, including any allergies to food. Doctor documentation will be required. This information will be written on the child’s blue emergency card. A Special Care Plan may be implemented.
If a child becomes ill during class time, he/she will be cared for temporarily in an area apart from other children. Parents will be notified when a child is ill. The child will need to be picked up immediately if:
- He/she is showing symptoms of a contagious disease.
- There is a fever over 100ºF.
- Vomiting or diarrhea is present.
- Immediate medical attention is needed due to an accident.
If a parent is not available, emergency contacts will be notified to pick up your child.
Children who have a suspected/diagnosed communicable disease will be temporarily excluded from the classroom. ADHS Bureau of Child Care Licensing Communicable Disease Chart will be the instrument used to determine exclusion from the program, readmission requirements and reportable status.
The preschool programs will follow WESD district policies in regard to medication.
- There must be a written order from the physician stating the name of the medicine, the dosage, and the time it is to be given.
- Written permission must be received from the parent, forms are available from the teacher or school office.
- All over the counter medications will not be administered to a preschool child without a written order from the physician.
- An adult must transport all medications to school; never send any medication with a child or in a backpack.
- The medication must be in the original container from the pharmacy. The prescription number will be written on the Request for Medication form.
- The health personnel will administer medication and will keep a medication log. When the health personnel are not on campus, the school principal will designate and train another staff member to administer medication.
The goal of WESD Head Start PLUS is to help children become independent, self-confident and inquisitive learners. Because we validate children’s and family’s holiday experiences and traditions at home, we minimize celebrations at school and ensure that classroom celebrations do not take over the entire curriculum. Families will not be asked or expected to donate or spend money on food, clothes, gifts or prizes.
Celebrations related to children’s learning:
· Classroom studies or projects may conclude with a celebration of children’s learning.
· Celebrations will be focused on sharing what was learned during the curriculum study.
· Celebrations of learning may include families, others in the school, or the wider community.
End of the Year Celebrations: Preschool graduation events with caps and gowns and related activities have strong significance in many communities. However, this kind of graduation event is not allowable under the Head Start federal guidelines. Children and families will experience these types of events when children are older and better able to understand and appreciate them.
Developmentally appropriate End of Year Celebrations will be organized to celebrate children’s growth and development. Each programming year, families will be invited to participate fully in end of year activities planned by staff and parents.
Children enrolling in WESD preschool programs must be up-to-date on their immunizations. Parents must provide documentary proof, including the date each was received, prior to enrollment. If you have any questions as to requirements, please visit www.maricopa.gov/publichealth to view the immunization schedule.
Infestations (Head Lice)
Please refer to the attached Infestations (Head Lice) Guidelines.
Wholesome, well-balanced meals and snacks are provided by WESD Food Services. Menus are posted and will be sent home at your request. For life threatening food allergies or food disabilities accommodations will be made in conjunction with the child’s doctor. Medical Statement for Special Dietary Accommodations forms are available from the caseworker or teacher. The child’s food allergies or special diet required should also be noted on the blue emergency and information card.
Because our meals and snacks are nutritionally balanced and because of DHS regulations, foods prepared at home may not be served. Any uneaten lunch or snack food may not be taken out of the classroom.
All foods are served in accordance with the USDA school meals program. Age appropriate nutrition and portion requirements include:
- Two (2) of the food groups served at each snack
- Low amounts of sugar, fat and salt
- Milk, water, or 100% pure fruit juice
Variety of foods from different food groups
It is important that your child wear comfortable playwear to preschool. Messy art activities and outside play activities are parts of each day. Shoes should have ties or straps and be a closed style – please NO flip flops or cowboy boots.
Please provide a complete outfit that will remain at school in case of an accident. Mark all items with your child’s name and place in a plastic bag with your child’s name on it. It will be required the first day of school and returned on the last day of school.
When your child is sent home in this change of clothes with dirty clothes in a plastic bag, your child must return to school with another change of clothes outfit.
Toys to School
Children are discouraged from bringing toys to school. Each classroom has a good variety and quantity of equipment to share with children during the school day. Toys or other items may be brought from home if and when a teacher designates a specific day for sharing. Toy guns and play weapons are prohibited – no exceptions.
Note: It is permissible to bring books which can easily be shared during group time throughout the week. All other toys that arrive unannounced will be set aside and returned to the child at dismissal time.
The school is not responsible for lost or damaged items.