Upon arrival parents are expected to provide a filled out daily sheet for each child left in our care. Teachers will also do a quick head to toe check and note any bruises, scrapes or abrasions on the child. Please make sure you visibly see a staff member before leaving your child in the classroom. Staff-Parent interaction is very important!
Upper Drive Parking: Please make sure you park close to the edge of the drive so that other cars may pass through the middle of the drive. Please make sure you hold your child’s hand when walking to and from the building so that they do not unexpectedly dart out in front of a moving vehicle. Please do not leave your vehicle running unless there is an adult inside the vehicle.
Lower Parking Area: Please be careful as you drive to the lower parking area. Please be cautious of children and adults in the parking area and always watch for unattended children. We recommend that parents hold their child’s hand when walking in the parking lot area at all times.
Mom’s Day Out/Infant-Toddler Parents: Please use upper drive parking area. When entering the classroom, please remove your shoes if you plan to walk into the room. Please take time to fill out a Daily Report for your child if you haven’t brought one from home. If you do not fill out a Daily Report we will not fill one out either. The Daily Report is one of the best ways we can communicate with you regarding your child’s day. Also, if you plan to stay longer than five minutes, please wash your hands.
Toddler Room Parents: Please use upper drive parking area. The children are to be dropped off and picked up in the upstairs classroom. For the safety of all of our children please pull your car all the way to the end of the front drive so that other parents can park in front of the school to drop off their child. If you park near the mulch, please make sure to leave a driving lane in the middle of the front drive. Please help your child change their shoes and wash their hands. When washing hands, please make sure to wash the front and back of the hands for at least ten seconds and use a paper towel to turn off the water. This is the hand washing procedure we are teaching the children and it is important that we all have the same routine. We also recommend that the children wash their hands before leaving the classroom at the end of the day. Please take time to fill out a Daily Report for your child if you haven’t brought one from home. If you do not fill out a Daily Report we will not fill one out either. The Daily Report is one of the best ways we can communicate with you regarding your child’s day.
Preschool/Kindergarten Parents: please Park in the lower parking lot. If the gates are already up when you arrive, please walk through the front porch to get to the lower drive. Please be courteous when dropping off and picking up your child on the lower drive. If you need to go into the classroom please park your car in a parking space. Also, please pull your car all the way forward past the garden area, especially between 8:20-8:40, 11:20-11:35 and 3:20-3:35. These are very busy times and for the safety of our children, and their parents, we do not want a back-up onto Ladue Road. Please be cautious during arrival and departure so that we may keep all of our families safe. If your child’s classroom is on the playground at the end of the day, please be careful in the parking lot area and hold your child’s hand when walking from the playground area. If your child has a disability and has specific needs during arrival and departure please express these needs to the staff so that we may appropriately accommodate your child.
When entering the classroom please make sure you make contact with a teacher before leaving your child in the classroom. If you send your child into the classroom alone you must make eye contact with a teacher. Please do not just drop off your child and leave (yes, this has happened several times by parents and it cannot be tolerated). It is crucial that you make contact with a staff member. Also, please take time to fill out a Daily Report for your child, if you haven’t brought one from home. If you do not fill out a Daily Report we will not fill one out either. The Daily Report is one of the best ways we can communicate with you regarding your child’s day. Also, please encourage your child to change their shoes and then wash their hands. We try to encourage independence with the children, however, you are always welcome to help your child change their shoes and help them wash their hands. Remember, you are always welcome in your child’s classroom!
Countryside uses the Ages and Stages Developmental Screening Tool to evaluate a child’s development from one month to 5 ½ years of age. Highly reliable and valid, Ages and Stages looks at communication, gross motor, fine motor, problem solving, and personal-social, plus self-regulation, compliance, language, adaptive behaviors, autonomy, affect, and interaction with people. Children are screened within the first 3 months of admission and then again every 6 months. After your child’s age appropriate screening a brief conference will be set with the teacher in order to discuss the screening results. There are also times that we will need parent input in order to complete the assessment. If you are asked to complete part of the assessment at home please try to return the assessment as quickly as possible. Only staff who are familiar with your child will complete your child’s assessments or developmental screenings.
If there is any physical aggression this will require an immediate time-out. Time-Out is given based on age, one minute per year of life. Once your child has been placed on time-out the teacher will let your child know when they may get up from time-out. When your child’s time out is over, a staff member will ask them if they know why they were on time-out, what they could have done instead of using physical aggression (hitting, kicking, pushing, etc.) and then what they need to do now (apologize to the other child). You will be notified if your child has a time-out on their daily report. If there is a behavior problem that persists for more than a couple of days we will discuss this issue with the parent. If the behavior problem continues to be a problem within the classroom we will discuss what actions need to be made.
We encourage parents to bring in a birthday snack on your child’s birthday so that we can help them celebrate their big day. We may ONLY accept items that are store bought or purchased at a bakery. Please let your child’s teacher know if you will bring in a treat for their birthday. If you wish to send a treat for the class on your child’s birthday, please send fruit or fruit kabobs, vegetables, cheese and crackers, cookies, or something that is easy for the children to handle. Please do not send cake or cupcakes. Again, everything must be store bought (no homemade items can be accepted).
If your child is enrolled in our Preschool/Kindergarten Program, you will receive a note requesting photos and anecdotal information about your child to help us celebrate his or her birthday.
Car Safety Policy
There will be absolutely no toleration for cars left unattended with the engine running or keys left in the ignition. This has been an ongoing problem and will not be tolerated. If your car is left unattended with the keys in the ignition, the administrator or any staff member have the right to remove the keys and take them to the office. For the sake of all the children at Countryside please uphold this policy. We understand parents may be in a hurry in the morning; however, it only takes a few seconds to remove your keys from the ignition.
Classroom Observation Policy
Countryside has an open-door policy. Parents are welcome to observe their child’s class in session. You are welcome to visit any time, but we would appreciate you making an appointment by writing a note to the teacher or calling the school. We trynot to schedule more than one observer per class session. Please stop by the office when you are finished to discuss your observation with Mrs. Hanser. Also, remember children will act differently when there is an observer in the room. If you observe your child and they seem to misbehave or act silly please discuss this with the classroom teacher, generally it is because they are feeling awkward with having their parent in the room.
Help your children help themselves. Look at clothes from their point of view. Can they manage to get them on and off easily in the bathroom themselves? Also, all outer clothing, sweaters, jackets, coats, hats, caps, mittens, gloves, and boots should be labeled with your child’s name. If your child is missing a jacket please contact a teacher as soon as possible! The longer an item is missing the harder it is to find.
Children enrolled in the Mom’s Day Out Program should have a change of clothes either left at school or brought with the child each day. Also, it is recommended that the parents send a bib with their child each day.
Children enrolled in the Toddler Class need a change of clothes that will be left at school. Please label all items with your child’s name (shirt, pants, underpants and socks). When a change of clothing is worn home, please replace it with a fresh change the next day. Again, each article of clothing should be labeled with the child’s name.
Children enrolled in the Preschool Class need to have a change of clothes, labeled with their name, inside their backpack at all times.
Please communicate to us what we need to know about your child. Please use the Daily Sheet, send a note to the teacher or call the office to inform us if there is something we should be aware of about your child. If there is a parent out of town, a separation or death in the family it is important for your child’s teacher to be aware of any unusual circumstances so that we may better care for your child. Countryside encourages parents to regularly contribute to the decisions about their child’s goals and to help plan activities within the classroom environment.
Confidentiality is very important within our school. Children’s records, screenings/evaluations and incident reports are kept confidential and are not shared with anyone other than the custodial parent(s) or classroom staff unless written authorization has been given by the parents. Written authorization along with specific records that should be shared with said individuals/agencies. Classroom staff will use the screening and evaluation results when creating the lesson plan for the individual child or class.
Countryside legally must release a child to either biological parent. If there is a custody issue we must have a court order stating the custody arrangements. If a parent does not give Countryside proper documentation stating the custody arrangement Countryside legally has to release the child to the biological parent. If we have proper documentation stating the custody arrangement, we will contact the authorities if an unauthorized parent/person tries to take the child from our care.
Daily Report Policy (Communication of Care Form)
Each morning you will need to complete a Daily Report for your child. This form will be simple and will allow us to find out important information that may affect your child’s day at school. Please be sure to include anything that might help us to help your child. This form should include any changes within the home environment. This form will also be filled out during the day by a staff member and will be returned to you at dismissal time so that you are aware of your child’s day. Important Note: If you do not leave a daily report for your child the staff will not fill out a daily report about your child.
The Countryside staff does not use any type of corporal punishment. Food or outdoor play is never taken away due to behavioral incidents. However, if there is a behavioral incident while outside on the playground that requires a time-out the child will sit during the designated amount of time while on the playground (one minute per year of life). Children should be picked up in the classroom or on the playground at the designated time. Parents need to check their child’s mail slot or drop file for their daily sheet, letters from the school, and any paperwork. It is also important to check to make sure their child does not need any supplies (diapers, wipes, change of clothes).
Emergency School Closing/Extreme Weather Policy
In the event of snow and ice storms, please watch KSDK (Ch. 5), KTVI (Ch. 2), or KMOV (Ch.4). I believe several of these stations also have the school closings posted on their websites. If the Parkway School District is closed, Countryside will also be closed except in the case that Parkway closes due to the wind chill. However, Countryside has closed in the past when Parkway was open. We generally have a message on the school phone. Also, we will have a phone message system that will call at 6 a.m. to let you know if the school is closed.
Extended Absence Policy
If your child is absent from our program for an extended period of time you are responsible for paying the monthly tuition to hold their space in our program. It is at your own discretion to remove your child from our program for the time you are away. If there is a waiting list or another family takes your child’s place on the roster you will then be placed on the waiting list when you decide to return your child to our program.
Field Trip Policy
Countryside hosts at least three field trips per school year. Countryside does not transport children to and from the field trips. Parents will need to make arrangements for their children to attend the field trip. The staff will not be responsible for children during the field trip. It is the parents’ responsibility to supervise their children while on a field trip. Only children enrolled in the Extended Day Program will be able to remain at Countryside on field trip days.
Our school calendar lists the holidays in which Countryside will be closed. Tuition credit is not given for holidays.
Hours of Operation
Countryside is open from 7:00 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
Mom’s Day Out 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Infant/Toddler Programs: Full Day 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. or Extended Day 7:00 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
Morning Class 8:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m.
Full Day Class 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Extended Day Class 7:00 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
Illness Policy (see also Sick Day Policy)
For the sake of your child, the other children and teachers in the class, sick children, including those with a fever, and those showing symptoms of a contagious illness should not be sent to school. The State of Missouri Division of Child Care states that a child with more than one episode of diarrhea, vomiting or fever over 99 degrees under the arm or 100 degrees by mouth must be symptom free, without the aid of medication, for 24 hours before returning to school. Therefore, if your child is sent home on Tuesday they may not return to school until Thursday provided they have been symptom free for 24 hours. We encourage you to follow the general policy of having your child wash his/her hands before eating. At Countryside we insist that children wash their hands before eating snacks or preparing any food. This is held by the medical experts to be the best way of preventing and avoiding illness.
Item’s From Home Policy
Your child is welcome to bring an item from home. However, please make sure your child understands that if they bring an item it may get lost or misplaced. When a child brings an item from home we encourage them to keep it in their cubby or backpack. However, they may carry it with them throughout the day. When they carry an item with them and put it down in the classroom another child may pick up the item. If another child picks up the item and breaks the item Countryside will not be responsible for replacing the item. Please be advised that it is best that children do not bring items from home. If your child would like to bring a special blanket or stuffed toy for nap time, these items will be kept in your child’s naptime cubby.
Late Pick-Up Policy
If your child is not picked up on time (11:30, 12:30, 3:30, 5:30) there will be one dollar charge for every minute you are late.
There are no make-up days for missed days.
Mandated Reporting Policy
The Missouri Child Abuse/Neglect law mandates certain professions (mandated reporters), to make a report to the Missouri Division of Social Services when they have reasonable cause to suspect that a child has been or may be subjected to abuse or neglect. These mandated reporters include all persons who work directly with children; therefore, the director and all staff at Countryside are mandated to report such suspicions to the Missouri Division of Social Services.
In Lieu of fundraising there is an annual material fee of $100.00 due each year by August 1st.
Meals & Snacks Policy
Due to unknown food allergies, Countryside does not provide any type of food or drink to children enrolled in the Mom’s Day Out Program. The Parents are required to bring all food and drinks while their children are enrolled in the Mom’s Day Out Program.
Countryside will provide snack for all children enrolled in the Toddler, Preschool/Kindergarten and Summer Programs. Snack is always a fruit, vegetable or cheese along with crackers, a cookie or cereal. Countryside will provide lunch for all children enrolled in the Full Day or Extended Day Program. Lunch always includes a fruit, vegetable, meat or cheese along with breading, bread or crackers and milk. Countryside will accommodate for food allergies and dietary restrictions. Parents must notify Countryside in writing of such restrictions.
Medical Emergencies Policy
If a medical emergency arises while your child is in our care, we will notify the parents immediately after we have called for medical assistance. If your child must be taken to the hospital the administrator or other staff member will escort your child in the ambulance. If we are unable to reach either parent we will notify the emergency contact listed on your child’s enrollment form.
Countryside cannot administer any medication without proper authorization from your child’s doctor. All medications must be in the original container with your child’s name on the pharmacy label/bottle.
Mom’s Day Out/Infant-Toddler Programs
Parents are responsible for bringing diapers, wipes, a change of clothes as well as anything your child will need while at Countryside along with bottles or sippy cups and a bib if necessary. If your child is under 12 months of age and is not yet on table foods please send baby food for your child. If your child is drinking something other than whole milk you will need to provide that as well. Please follow the guidelines regarding our sick policy. Children in our Mom’s Day Out/Infant-Toddler programs tend to place toys into their mouths and the spread of germs is greater. The staff washes all mouthed toys daily, however, we do not want to spread germs from sick children attending our program.
Parents please do not walk on the mats/floor inside the classroom with your outside shoes. The children crawl around on the mats and we do not want unwanted dirt and germs on the floor. Please remove your shoes if you must walk to other areas in the classroom. Mom’s Day Out will also attend Field Trips. Mom’s Day Out will also be closed on field trip days unless otherwise advised.
All children enrolled in the Full Day or Extended Day Programs are required, by the State of Missouri Department of Child Care, to rest on a cot for 30 minutes. If after 30 minutes they have not fallen asleep they may get off their cot and work quietly in the classroom. Children enrolled in the Toddler Program are encouraged to fall asleep. A staff member will help your child fall asleep by rubbing their back or other comforting techniques. Our staff plays relaxing music during nap time in order to help your child relax. If your child falls asleep they will not be disturbed until naptime is over. If your child is in our Preschool/Kindergarten Classroom and they fall asleep they will not be disturbed unless directed by the parent.
Outside Play Policy
Children will be taken outside to play as long as the weather permits. Please make sure your child has a hat as well as mittens or gloves that can be kept at Countryside. Countryside follows the following guidelines set by Children’s Hospital.
32 degrees to 90 degrees-children can stay outside for an unlimited amount of time.
20 degrees to 32 degrees-children can stay outside for 10-15 minutes.
10 degrees to 20 degrees-children can stay outside for 5 minutes. (we will not go outside)
10 degrees or below-children should not play outside.
**These temperatures include wind chill**
Open Door Policy
Countryside welcomes family members into their child’s classroom at any time throughout the day. Family members are welcome to pop in and see their child at any time. Please keep in mind that some children do not do well with pop in visits and may expect to go home with you. However, we are always willing to work through this with your child.
The Department of Health and Child Care requires that every child have an updated immunization record on file each year. If we need any forms, records, etc. we will send a note home with your child requesting the information along with a deadline. Please return the information requested by the deadline. From time to time there may be a state mandated deadline, if you do not return the forms by the stated deadline your child may not be able to attend school until the forms or records are received.
As indicated on the school calendar, there are a number of events scheduled during the year for parents. These events include our Open House, Mother’s Holiday Party, Father’s Night, The Family Picnic and our fieldtrips. If you are unable to attend PLEASE send another adult to be with your child! Young children do not understand why their parent is not there when everyone else has an adult there to watch them work. Please mark your calendars so that you do not miss one of these events.
Parent Involvement Policy
We encourage parents to get involved at Countryside. In our Preschool/Kindergarten Program there are many ways to get involved. Parents are welcome to assist with art projects, gardening, and also reading to the children. All volunteers must have a background check prior to helping out in the classroom. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer please contact the office for a Background Screening Form.
Parent Resource Area
A parent resource area is located in the main building on the front porch. This area includes parenting and developmental books, educational catalogs, resources for developmental therapy, mental health resources as well as additional resources that may benefit you or your child. There is also a binder that contains information about public and private schools in the surrounding areas.
The school calendar lists two conferences between the teacher and parents of each child enrolled in our Preschool/Kindergarten Programs. The first conference will be held in November, and the second in March. If you wish to have an additional conference please send a note to the teacher.
Countryside is a peanut/nut free facility. Countryside does not allow any type of peanut or nut into the building. We would like to keep all children safe while they are in our care. Please do not send any type of peanuts/nuts to school with your child. If you send any type of peanut or nut items our staff will not serve them to your child even though they themselves do not have an allergy.
Countryside will take photos of activities throughout the school year. These photos may contain children enrolled at Countryside. Countryside may use these photos for activities within the school. Student photos will not be accompanied by their name if used for marketing purposes.
Once a child has been dismissed from the care of the staff, Countryside will not be responsible for children playing on the playground. You are welcome to use the playground at the end of the school day, however, please make sure you are supervising your child. You agree to hold harmless Twintrips, Inc DBA Countryside Montessori School if an accident should occur once your child has been released from our care. Please make sure the gate is closed at all times. Also, please supervise your child near the pony area. The children are not allowed to stand or climb on the fence or to throw anything into the pony area. Please be careful if you are feeding carrots to the ponies. The children are not allowed to hand feed the ponies during school hours.
Policy Revision Policy
When the Department of Child Care, Accreditation or other governing agency notifies Countryside of a new policy or law the change will be implemented immediately which may not allow time for prior notice. Countryside will notify families within 48 hours of such change. Any policy that is put into effect for Countryside will be given a minimum 48 hour notice.
Pony Ride Policy
Countryside offers pony rides as part our curriculum. Even though we have never had a pony related accident our insurance carrier requires certain wording to be included in our policies. Children at Countryside sit on the pony bench while waiting their turn. For children under the age of four years old a staff member will walk next to the pony while holding onto the waist of the child while the pony is led by a lead rope. All children will be taught how to mount and dismount the pony. All children will sit on the saddle and hold onto the saddle horn while riding. The pony riding and the handling of ponies can be a dangerous activity which can result in injury. I understand, from this date on, hereby release, indemnify, and hold harmless Countryside Montessori School, twintrips, incorporated and/or their employees or volunteers, from any and all claims, actions, suits, and/or damages that may occur as a result of any injuries sustained while taking pony rides, handling, or being near the ponies on the property of Countryside Montessori School. This shall include losses, damages, costs, and counsel fees that may occur as a result of injury, and related claims by any parties. I understand that risks are involved in riding, handling, or being near ponies, and by signing this agreement I take full responsibility in the event of any injury. I have read this release, waiver and indemnity agreement, understand the risks involved and agree to assume them. I sign this agreement voluntarily and with full knowledge of its significance.
Protective Headgear Offering
On behalf of my child I have been offered to provided a bicycle helmet or SEI certified ASTM standard F 1163 Equestrian helmet and do understand that the wearing of such headgear while mounting, riding, dismounting and otherwise being around ponies, may prevent or reduce severity of some of the wearer’s head injuries and possibly prevent the wearer’s death from happening as the result of a fall and other occurrences.
Release of Children Policy
At dismissal time, children are released only to the adults specified on the enrollment form. If an exception needs to be made, please send a note to the teacher who will dismiss your child. We will not release a child without the proper authorization. If the person picking up your child is not listed on their enrollment form, the parent must send a signed note stating who may pick up their child. Countryside has the right to not release the child if proper notification has not been received. Please inform the person picking up your child that they will be asked to show proper identification.
Sick Day Policy
We understand that children get sick, however, they are not able to attend when they have a fever, severe cough, vomiting or diarrhea. PLEASE remember that the most contagious time for a cold is the first few days. Please do not bring your child to school, if they develop cold or flu symptoms, for at least the first two days of a new cold. We also ask that you keep your child home for the first three days of a new cough. We are aware that a cough can last 3-4 weeks,however, the first few days are the most contagious. There is no tuition credit for missed days due to illness.
Program staff encourage and support families to make the primary decisions about the services that their children need, and we encourage families to advocate to obtain needed services. Special services could include physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, or any specific services that your child might need. If we feel your child would benefit from receiving special services we will refer you to either First Steps (birth-age 36 months) or Special School District (ages over 3 years). We welcome therapists into our program in order to provide services to children in their educational environment. We will also accompany you and your child to IEP’s or other meetings to discuss any developmental concerns.
When a teacher or assistant is ill or absent, another staff member or parent volunteer will serve as the substitute teacher for that day. If you would be interested in volunteering as a substitute teacher, please call the school office. All volunteers must have a background check prior to helping out in the classroom. We will also use TLC.
If your child requires diapers, pull-ups, wipes or another item that is kept at school you will be given a note when their supplies are running low. Please replace the supplies as soon as possible.
Toilet Learning Policy
When your toddler is ready to begin toilet training you need to inform the staff of your child’s interest. You will need to discuss the method you use at home with our staff. If possible we would prefer to use the same potty training method you are using at home to keep the consistency and aid in the potty training process. At Countryside we require your child to remain in diapers, pull-ups, or training pants with vinyl pants while potty training. We have the children use the toilet upon arrival and based on success will then encourage your child to use the toilet at least once an hour. If your
child was not successful using the toilet upon arrival we will encourage your child to use the toilet again in 30 minutes and then at least once every hour thereafter. Once your child has remained dry for an entire week we will encourage your child to wear underpants to school. If after wearing underpants your child continues to have accidents we will ask that your child also wear vinyl pants.
Tuition Discount Policy
There is a 10% discount for siblings enrolled in the Toddler or Preschool/Kindergarten programs. The discount is given on the lowest tuition amount. However, in order to keep the MDO rate affordable there is not a discount for siblings if one child is enrolled in the MDO program.
Tuition at Countryside is calculated on a monthly basis. The tuition is the same each month no matter how many days your child is absent. Tuition is due on the first day of each month. If payment is not received by the 7th of the month there will be a late charge of $10. Also, if your check is returned due to insufficient funds there will be a $25 charge. Countryside does not distribute monthly invoices. Tuition rates will increase annually in September. There are no refunds or reductions in tuition are made for illness or other absences. Also, no refunds on paid or pre-paid tuition.
If your family will be leaving the country or will be on vacation for an extended period of time you are still responsible for paying the monthly tuition in order to hold your child’s place on our roster. It is at your own discretion to remove your child from our program for the time you are away. If there is a waiting list or another family takes your child’s place on the roster you will then be placed on the waiting list when you decide to return your child to our program.
Withdrawal Procedure Policy
If, for serious reason, a child must be withdrawn from school, the parents must inform the school administrator (not a teacher) by letter one month prior to the last day of the child’s attendance. If a child has been accepted for admission but has not yet attended and must be withdrawn, a written notification of withdrawal must be made to the administrator one month prior to the start of the program. Failure to provide one month notification will result in tuition being charged for one month.