TORAH ACADEMY NURSERY SCHOOL PARENTS’ HANDBOOK February 2011 – Adar 1 5771 WWW.TORAHACADEMY.CO.ZA/NURSERY TABLE OF CONTENTS
A Letter from the Director
Dear Parents, It is my great pleasure to be on board in this new stage of growth and development in our Torah Academy Nursery school. Personally, I thank G‐d for the blessing of being able to contribute further to a preschool vision developed over forty years ago into the bustling, joyful and exceptional school we have today. We welcome the new families to our school and we look forward to opening our doors to many more. We are pleased that most of our beloved Morahs have returned and we are delighted to welcome back Morah Charlene in the playgroup and Morah Sarah in the Pre-grade. We also welcome Morah Ari as a teacher’s assistant in Morah Chana Rivka’s class. Each of our Morahs brings a thoughtful, creative and educated expertise in creating an ideal environment for our children to thrive. Thanks to our Morahs and entire staff for ensuring that excellence in all areas is met. As our school continues to evolve, so does its supporting structure need to keep up to date. A key element of Torah Academy’s progress is our relationship with our parent body. We would like to see our role primarily as being a partner with you, in ensuring that your child experiences a seamlessly "familial" day between home and school. We look forward to working with you in furthering this active and powerful partnership, watching it evolve just as we do, and enabling our school to give more and more quality attention to each child and family. The previous Lubavitcher Rebbe used to say that “if good is good, isn’t better even better?” So much at Torah Academy has been good, even very good. But better IS even better and we hope that we will always strive to do better, no matter what goals have already been achieved. So dear parents I would like to extend to you our best wishes for a successful and healthy year! I would also like to wish all our children a positive, healthy and happy year of learning and growth in all areas. Warmly Sara Bronstein
OUR MISSION STATEMENT
Torah Academy Nursery School is a Chabad school committed to providing a superb early childhood experience for young children in the Jewish community and to working with their families to facilitate the social, physical, intellectual, creative, and emotional development of each child. Through developmentally appropriate practice, and using a fully integrated program of secular and Judaic curriculum, the Torah Academy Nursery School strives to enable each child to thrive as an individual and to be a contributing member in a caring community. Even as children learn to participate in a group, their individuality is respected. We emphasize developing good attributes through practically participating in chesed projects. We strive to create a warm and safe environment that develops an intense love for learning.
Some of the objectives of Torah Academy Nursery school program are:
• to provide a setting in which your child will feel safe and happy
• to help your child develop a love for learning; a love that is deep, broad , and
• to provide opportunities for your child to learn academic skills through day-to-
day activities and through interactive experiences with peers and adults
• to encourage your child’s love for books and foster the pre-reading skills
appropriate to his/her stage of development
• to provide opportunities for your child to make discoveries and to use them in
learning, developing the building blocks for the study of science
• to develop your child’s problem-solving abilities, developing the building
• to encourage your child’s creativity and artistic expression
• to encourage your child to ask questions, which will be answered sincerely
• to develop your child’s social skills, in both one-on-one and larger group
• to encourage your child to work independently and with his or her peers
• to provide learning materials and equipment, as well as the availability of
caring and committed adults, to help your child get the most out of school and themselves.
• to help your child feel good about him/herself
We are very proud to offer in house therapy during school. The teachers will take initiative to pinpoint areas of concern for therapy and make recommendations to parents. All communication about therapy should be directed to the therapist concerned. This is a sub-contracted service, and as with extra murals, we are not involved in the payments per se.
EXTRA CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES DURING SCHOOL
Little Champs during School All of our children benefit from “Little Champs.” This activity takes place twice a month on a Monday. The Pre-Aleph children have little champs three times a month. Extra Mural Activities The first few weeks of the year, parents will be offered extra murals including options such as, ballet, Kindermusik and Soccer Starz. Depending on the numbers and interest, extra murals for the year will be determined, and times and dates will be advised for after school activities. The extra murals take place after school. Please keep the name and number of the Extra Mural provider on your phone and all payments and queries will be directly with the provider. The Nursery School office does not keep forms or payments. Please keep yourself informed. Kindermusik – Debbie - 082 826 1555
Soccer Stars – Darren – 071 503 4440
Ballet – Katz’s School of Dance – 082 830 6807
We are thrilled to have such a dedicated, passionate team of teachers, teachers’ aides and assistants as well as a committed team of all our support staff. Playgroup Morah Chani Lavine Teacher’s assistant – Fikile Morah Charlene Katz Teacher’s assistant - Precious Nursery School Younger 3’s – Morah Chana Rivka Lewin Teacher’s aide – Morah Ari Berger Teacher’s assistant – Sissa Younger 4’s – Morah Rachel Pels Teacher’s assistant – Sarah Older 4’s – Morah Nadine Benjamin Teacher’s assistant – Cussi Prep Pre Aleph – Morah Esther Chaiton Teacher’s assistant – Kata Prep Pre Aleph – Morah Adie Berman Teacher’s assistant – Inacentia Pre Aleph Girls – Morah Sarah Groner Teacher’s assistant - Thabile Pre Aleph Boys – Morah Leah Lipskar Teacher’s assistant – Eunice School Staff Torah Academy Schools Dean/Rabbi: Rabbi Dovid Hazdan Torah Academy Schools Administrator - Rabbi Shabsy Chaiton Director – Sara Bronstein Professional Academic Mentor/Administrator – Morah Mish Berkowitz Head of Kodesh Curriculum/Chinuch – Morah Dini Groner Nursery School Secretary – Ilana Goldring In-house Speech Therapist – Ilana Erster In-house Occupational Therapist – Bev Fittinghof Support Staff Kitchen - Meisie School upkeep- Solly Security - Caleb SCHOOL CALENDER
The term dates for 2011 are as follows: Term 1: 19 Jan - 13 April Term 2: 4 May- 1 July Term 3: 21 July – 11 October Term 4: 24 October- 7 December Additional days off from school [Jewish/ public Holidays] to be marked as off school days on your Calendar which occur during term. Please find a 2011 School Calendar at the back of the Hand Book. Jewish Holidays March 21st – Shushan Purim/ Public holiday May 22nd – Lag B’Omer June 7th – 10th - Shavuot June 16th - Public holiday August 9th - Public holiday/ Tisha B’Av September 28th – 30th – Rosh Hashanah October 7th – Yom Kippur October 12th-23rd - Succot DAILY SCHEDULE Playschool hours: 8.00 am -12.00 pm
Nursery School hours: 8.00 am -1.00 pm Classes will be open from 7.50am and our school day starts at 8.00am. We recommend being no later than 8:30am to ensure a positive start to the day. If you are late, we will do our best to smooth the way, but please understand the limits of the situation. The earliest that you may fetch your child is at 12.50pm. If you need to take your child to an appointment or pick up early, please wait at the office, inform Ilana and she will call through to the relevant classroom and your child will be brought to the office. No parents should be going to the classrooms before 12.50. Please ensure that your child says goodbye to the Morah before leaving. Firstly this is appropriate Derech Eretz and this ensures that the Morah knows that the child has left with his/her lift. Tardiness at Pick-Up Time It is imperative that you fetch your child on time. Late pick-ups are difficult for children and unfair to staff. Children who are not picked up on time must wait longer than other children; this is upsetting to them and can ruin a perfectly fine day! We have allocated an extra half an hour from 1:00 to 1:30 for teachers to prepare and plan for the following day. Late pickups will disrupt this very valuable time. So please be sure to be prompt. Change of Dismissal Plans If your child’s end-of-day arrangements are different from the usual; you must give a written note to the teacher or write it on the attendance register. This includes changes in arrangements, play dates, etc. Please try to organise all your child’s play dates prior to coming to school to avoid calling the school during the day with last minute changes, unless it is a true emergency. Security gates Our school gates will be locked from 8:30 – 12:50 each day for security reasons. GETTING READY EACH DAY
• Make sure children are neat and tidy. • Allow time for personal routine, a good breakfast, a pleasant, safe ride to school.
Have a cheerful, positive attitude as your child leaves you, either at home or at school.
• Don’t put pressure on your child to work, a love for learning will be a natural
process. Encourage your child to talk about school by asking specific questions, such as “What was your favourite work? ¨ or “What was snack?” rather than”What did you do today? ¨
• Inform the teacher if there is something going on at home that might affect your
• Building New Attachments: The ability to form strong attachments is one of the
primary building blocks of emotional health, and many believe it is the foundation of all further positive growth. The flip side is that building your child’s independence is not easy. Going off to School is a big step for a young child, and it’s a big step for parents, too, especially if this is your first child.
• Most important of all, project a feeling of calm and confidence, and place your trust
in the school leadership and teachers. This will reassure your child and give him/her the confidence to succeed.
SCHOOL REQUIREMENTS WHAT YOUR CHILD NEEDS IN SCHOOL
Each child in the playschool is required to bring the following to school when they start at the beginning of the year:
• Play school • 1 plastic apron • 4 boxes of tissues • 4 bottles of liquid soap • 2 packets of wet wipes • 4 air freshener sprays • A complete change of clothing: This should be sent daily. Each item (including
socks) should be marked with your child’s name. Toddlers often need two changes of clothing. Remember to send extra clothing to school during toilet training, and to change the clothing with the seasons.
• Mark clothing: Clothing, especially jerseys and outerwear, should be marked with
• Toilet/ nappies: Toddlers not yet toilet trained should have a supply of nappies and
wipes sufficient for a week in school, to be replenished as needed. We suggest you send 10 nappies per week and a pack of wipes and we will inform you when a new one is due. We do not initiate toilet training, but we will support your efforts as much as possible. We will use stepping stools where needed.
Pre-School and Nursery School
• A complete change of clothing: This should be sent daily. Each item (including
socks) should be marked with your child’s name. Mark clothing: Clothing, especially jerseys and outerwear, should be marked with your child’s name.
• As our weather is unpredictable please send a Jersey daily as a warmer option if
• Sunny days and rainy days: Especially on hot days, for outdoor play, please make
sure to include sun hat and sun tan lotion in your child’s bag. On rainy days, please include a rain jacket and boots [especially in winter]
• Tzedokah: We encourage the children to bring Tzedokah (money for charity) the
point is to develop a daily habit of sharing. It also helps children associate money with giving and doing good. A bag per term should be allocated by the parents with cents to last throughout the term.
Nursery School Each of the Morahs will send out their individual requirements at the beginning of the year for their class. Toys and Gadgets Toys and latest gadgets are not to be brought to school. In our experience we have seen that this often causes problems Things break or get lost, children have a hard time sharing personal belongings, etc. Play dates at home with one or two other children are a much better format for sharing special toys. Therefore, we ask that things from home stay at home. Your child will not be able to enjoy these items in school. For toddlers who are working out separation issues that treasured/security item¨ can help bridge the gap. Please use discretion and judgment in deciding what items should come to school. We will discourage your child from taking his/her treasures out of their bag. If you can choose something educational to show the Morah, that will be a better option. Super Heroes Television and movies are populated with superheroes that are portrayed in ways that are very attractive to young children. Although these programs often draw a sharp distinction between good and evil, they almost always seem to resort to fighting to settle problems. The messages that children infer from these shows are often of questionable value. Children may not be brought to school wearing their “Superhero Costume”. Obviously it is up to each family to decide how to deal with this issue. As early childhood educators we have to deal with the impact of these programs on daily basis. Our approach is two-pronged: We highlight stories (not movies & films) featuring heroes with moral strength and at the same time, we simply do not allow weapon play or pretend fighting play at all. If teachers observe this type of play they suggest other options to the children. We prefer to keep the cultural fads of the moment out of school including TV and movie theme clothing, toys, and other items, for a variety of reasons that are grounded in concern for children's overall development. Allergy Alert In any classroom in which there is a child with a severe food allergy that food will not be allowed at all (i.e. peanut butter, egg, soy). Please inform us. Our food policies are based on the diverse needs of our families. We don’t allow sharing but sharing does happen and therefore we have to insist on a certain standard within the realm of school. We also would like to encourage healthy, nutrient rich snacks which is only beneficial and advantageous for the development and healthy nurturing of our children Snack and Lunch During the course of the morning the children are offered a snack of bread with peanut butter or jam, as well as a drink of juice or water. An additional snack should be sent with your child as well as extra water or juice.
Only the following food bearing the PAREV Hechscher (Logo) may be brought to school:
• Fresh Fruit, Dried Fruit and Fruit Bars • Vegetables/Pickles, Fruit • Oatees • Non flavoured Rice cakes/ corn thins • Nuts (only in nut allergy free class and not allowed in Playschool) • Non flavoured Pretzels (only Beigel & Beigel Brand) • NO CHIPS, SWEETS, CAKES, BREAD, ROLLS, POP-CORN, BISCUITS BIRTHDAYS
The moment of birth, which is the beginning of your child's own personal time line, is of great importance to him/her. Part of our program is a birthday celebration for each child. A Parev birthday cake/ cupcakes may be ordered from a reputable “Kosher” supplier, as these are a special part of birthday celebrations. No homemade cakes are allowed. As a tradition, children may donate an educational book to the School library on their birthday. We will source books and have them on display throughout the year for you to chose and donate to our library. These books are inscribed with the child's name and the date. This teaches the children the value of giving, not only getting. Parties Outside of School Invitations to a party outside of school may be distributed in school only if all of the children in the class are invited to attend, and if the refreshments served are all kosher Parev and Chalav Yisroel. This is a great opportunity to teach your child about consideration and thoughtfulness.
AFTER SCHOOL PARTIES IN SCHOOL
The Torah Academy Nursery School facilities are available for rent for your child’s after school Party. The cost is R350 a party. Please see Morah Mish/Ilana to book a date for your child’s party.
Policies on Toilet Training We do not require a child to be toilet trained in order to participate in the Playschool and younger 3’s classes. A child is considered to be trained when they initiate trips to the bathroom, and go almost every time they initiate the trip. However, a child who needs regular reminders is still at the beginning stages of training, and should still be in a pull-up/nappy in school. (Of course, even after a child is trained occasional accidents do happen, and when they do we treat them in a calm, matter-of-fact manner that preserves the child’s self respect) Please remember every child functions differently and what is good for one is not necessarily good for another. Thank you for your co-operation. Promoting Appropriate Behaviour In The Classroom Setting limits for children: This includes demonstrating proper use of materials, pointing out the safe way of doing something, etc. Our 4 basic rules are: Walking feet (indoors); put back what you take out; Gentle Hands/Hands to ourselves. Quiet voices. This allows for close supervision and attentiveness to what’s happening, which often stops trouble early. Providing a rich array and variety of activities, with a balance between active and quiet choices available. Being consistent in our expectations of children. These are all factors in helping children to succeed. We feel that in most cases, ordinary, typical “misbehaving” does not need to be carried over from school to home and vice versa. There are exceptions, such as when we are dealing with major behavioural issues, when a consistent approach is more beneficial to the child. If this should happen, we will, of course, communicate with you on a very frequent basis until the problem has been resolved. Likewise, if there are major behavioural issues that you see at home, we ask that you communicate with us so that we can work together for the benefit of your child. We will work together with you as a family to improve every situation as they come up. “OUCH! BITING HURTS!” RESPONDING TO CHALLENGING BEHAVIOUR IN TODDLERS
A behaviour which is, unfortunately, not expected in toddler groups, but can be very emotionally charged is biting, pushing or hitting. We hope never to have to address it on our program, but as with all behavioural issues, we are realistic about it. There are many reasons toddlers may hurt. Sometimes the hurting is related to teething. Sometimes toddlers’ hit/bite/push to express feelings they cannot yet express with words. We have seen children hurt others when they are frustrated, and we have seen them do it out of excitement of a happy moment. No one can predict which children may behave as such, but we are ready to help toddlers who do, to learn other behaviours. And of course, we are ready to give treatment, sympathy and advice to children who are hurt. Here are the ways we work to prevent biting and how we respond to it when it does happen: We try to plan the day so providing a calm and cheerful atmosphere, keeping children exploring. We also model acceptable and appropriate behaviour for the children. If an incident does occur, we help the child who was hurt. We reassure him or her and care for the child. If your child is hurt, we call you to let you know about it (we do not share the names of the children involved). The teachers fill out an accident report. We also respond to the child who has hurt another. We show the children strong disapproval of this. Our specific response varies depending on the circumstances, and if it is serious, sent home. Our basic message is that hurting others is the wrong thing to do. We also help the child who hurts to learn different, more appropriate behaviour. The teachers and director try to analyze the cause of consistent or pattern hurting and put emphasis on keeping children safe and helping children who are stuck in these patterns. When we need to develop such a plan, we share the details with parents so they know specifically how we are addressing this problem. Parents are notified if their child starts to hit, push or bite. We ask parents to keep us informed if their child is doing this at home. Communication is very important in order to help your child stop this pattern.
We believe very strongly that smooth communication between school and home is in the best interest of children, staff, and parents. To facilitate this, we offer the following: Nursery School Newsletters you will receive these newsletters weekly by email, as well as being able to pick up a hard copy from your teacher if you so request in advance every Friday. Informative evening At the beginning of the year, parents will be given the opportunity to find out about the goals and aspirations for the year and to meet with their child’s teacher to find out the general curriculum goals and skill targets within each class. Talk To the Teacher To speak to your child’s teacher, call during school hours and leave a message for her at the office. Your call will be returned within 24 hours. Arrival and dismissal times are not appropriate times for meaningful conversation with teachers. They need to be involved with the children. (You may, however, give the teacher a note asking her to call you later). Please do not ask your teacher for her private number or call your child’s teacher at home unless she has specifically requested you to do so. Talk to the Director Call Morah Sara with any ideas/concerns you may have. Either a phone conference or visit will promptly be arranged. Please try to call during working hours. You may email [email protected] for quick responses as well. Keep Us Informed As Well If both parents are out of town, the school must be informed. As with all changes in arrangements, this should be in writing. It is also extremely helpful if you let us know when things are unusual at home, stress can come from even positive situations, and teachers who are aware of the home situation are better able to help the children. Parent/Teacher Evening These evenings will give the parent an opportunity to meet up with teachers in a one on one setting and discuss the progress ,development and possible challenges your child is facing. Workshops There are workshop series or once off workshops which are offered to both parents and teachers at Torah Academy. We encourage parents to take advantage of these workshops as they are chosen with precision and are of the highest quality to support you in being an even better and more skilled parent. We strongly believe that the degree, to which parents seek to develop themselves, will be directly proportionate to the degree in the results of their child’s development on all levels. The school will honour the parents’ commitments and support them to the degree that the parents show an interest and get involved. We are here to support you, so please support us in supporting you! Should there be a financial concern, please speak to Morah Sara who will seek to help a parent who would fully commit and needs the financial support. P.T.A. – Parent Teacher Association This committee will be responsible for extra involvement in areas of fundraising, beautifying our school and bringing new ideas and needs to our school board. Please see the attached Volunteer Form and let us know how you can contribute.
We strive for our school to maintain a healthy school environment, with regards to nutrition, and all areas of health. We certainly hope that everyone stays healthy but we must state our health policy for the record. Please see attached “From the Doctor’s Desk”. This has been written by a local practitioner for an in-depth perspective from a doctor. From the Doctor’s desk Contagious illnesses in schools, nurseries and daycare centers are usually passed from child to child by droplets suspended in the air from coughing and sneezing, direct contact with objects that have those droplets or “snot” deposited on them, or from hand contact with contaminated bowel movement. In defense of daycare centers and other schools, it’s virtually impossible to keep a child from coughing or sneezing on other kids or scratching themselves and handling toys before his hands can be washed. That’s why preventing the spread of childhood disease should start at home before the illness goes too far.
Medical reports clearly state that children should not be kept home from school for mild respiratory illnesses such as head colds without fever or a productive cough. However, you should use the following “guidelines” to judge the difference between mild and more severe illnesses.
You should not send your child to school if he or she:
Has a fever above 37.9 degrees orally or 37.8 degrees rectally (please note that skin and ear digital thermometers are very unreliable!)
Is irritable, cries constantly, or seems very sleepy or difficult to awaken
Is hard to keep awake and refuses to eat normally
Has difficulty breathing or seems to be breathing more rapidly than usual
Had diarrhoea in the past twelve hours that would run out of a diaper, has a foul infected type odour, or would be so difficult to control that your child could not make it to the toilet without soiling clothing or messing up the bathroom or classroom
Has vomited two or more times in the past 24 hours or once in the past eight hours
Complains of constant stomach pains or walks stooped over and holding his stomach
Has sores in the mouth or is drooling because it hurts to swallow
Has a skin rash that includes pus bumps, water blisters, or oozing crusty areas (impetigo), or is associated with fever
Has pinkness or redness in the whites of eyes with crusting or drainage of yellow or green pus
If skin or whites of eyes become yellow or jaundiced
Has untreated head lice, scabies, or strep throat
Has an unexplained swollen joint, arm or leg and won’t move the arm or stand on the leg
Has a headache for more than twelve hours not relieved by PANADO
Has a croupy or wheezy cough or coughs up a lot of green or yellow phlegm
Has a change in behaviour or doesn’t act “normal”
There are many other signs of serious illness in children that we have not covered. Our advice is simply to use common sense in deciding whether your child acts “normal enough” to send him or her to school.
Hopefully you can use these rough guidelines to help decide when to keep your sick child home from school or daycare. Since you know your child’s normal appetite, how energetic he is, how often she urinates or poops, and how he or she ordinarily “looks” when not sick, you are the best judge of when to keep them home.
Develop a feel for when to keep them at home and trust that other parents would do the same to avoid spreading diseases throughout the entire school. You would not do anything to place someone else’s child at risk of a contagious illness.
Please call the school in the morning when your child is absent due to illness or other reasons. If your child becomes ill in school we will call you to take him/her home. If we can’t reach you, designated emergency numbers will be called. The school reserves the right to determine if a child is well enough to be in school. For this reason, it is absolutely vital that parents are contactable during school hours. All parent and emergency information must be kept up to date. Medication We won’t administer medication without a parent’s consent. Parents should give medication before and after school. The Future Many families come to The Torah Academy because of what they hear from friends whose children go to school here. The highest compliment we can receive is to have our parents serve as Ambassadors. Please tell us if you know of anyone who should be receiving our enrolment information. KEEP IN TOUCH We hope to have our school info with documentation and photos updated on the school blog as soon as it is up and running. WORKING TOGETHER WE CAN DO GREAT THINGS!
A fundamental aspect of the success of Torah Academy Nursery School, is the school, parents and children all working together towards the school’s goals, vision and mission.
As a parent, you may have specific talents or resources that could potentially be a valuable contribution to the school. We would so appreciate it if you would be willing to share these talents either on an on-going or ad hoc basis. We would like to give each parent the opportunity to contribute towards further enhancing the quality of education that children are receiving at Torah Academy Nursery School, creating variety, and also adding to the life skills of our children.
Please complete the form below indicating in which of the areas listed you might be able to assist, and return the complete form to the office by as soon as possible. Your input is much appreciated.
o Preparing Hotdogs for Sale Once a week Funday Activities – Jumping Castles etc Education Library Adult Education/ Shiurim/Themed workshops for Moms Other (please specify)
Seattle-King County Emergency Medical Services Division Public Health - Seattle/King County 401 5th Avenue, Suite 1200 Seattle, WA 98104 (206) 296-4863 CBT/OTEP 385 – Environmental Emergencies Introduction Heat and cold illnesses are triggered when the body is unable to maintain a constant temperature. A fundamental knowledge of heat mechanisms and factors that affect the body’s ability t
P r o s t a t e C a n c e r D N A P l o i d y a n d R e s p o n s e t o S a l v a g e H o r m o n e T h e r a p y A f t e r R a d i o t h e r a p y W i t h o r W i t h o u t S h o r t - T e r m T o t a l A n d r o g e n B l o c k a d e : A n A n a l y s i s o f R T O G 8 6 1 0 By A. Pollack, D.J. Grignon, K.H. Heydon, E.H. Hammond, C.A. Lawton, J.B. Mesic, K.K. Fu, A.T. Porter, Purpose: