Silver Spring Day School Parent Handbook

Frequently Asked Questions and Policies


Frequently Asked Questions

Finding a Replacement on your in-classroom participation day

https://silverspringdayschool.org/support_article/replacement-co-opers/

Parents are responsible for finding their own replacements if they cannot fulfill their in-classroom participation commitment. The best way to find a replacement is to make a phone call rather than relying on e-mail or text message. If all efforts to find a replacement fail, the parent should call the Scheduler. The Scheduler may, at their discretion, assist in finding an emergency replacement. It is permissible to have two parents split the day. SSDS assistants, nannies and caregivers are not acceptable substitutes for in-classroom participation. However, parents from other classes can swap scheduled days. In some cases with enough notice, the administrative staff may be able to find a substitute for the shift. If the school finds a substitute, the parent who was unable to participate will be responsible for reimbursing the school the $75 substitute fee. If a volunteer does not materialize or the school cannot identify a substitute, it is left to the discretion of SSDS as to whether the class will run or be cancelled.

Participating parents who miss their scheduled day will be fined a $75 missed shift fee. If a parent fails to show for a second scheduled shift, s/he will be fined the non-participation fee of $250, in addition to the substitute fee of $75. A third incident will result in the immediate removal of your child from the school. Whenever a parent fails to show for their scheduled shift, the teacher must have all the parents stay with the class until someone agrees to substitute. If no one is available to stay or substitute then the class could be canceled. Paying another parent to cover your shift is against the spirit of in-classroom participation at SSDS and will not be tolerated. Please plan to switch days with another family or in the worst-case scenario, contact the office to attempt to find a substitute.

Parents are responsible for helping find a substitute teacher or volunteering to substitute teach in the case of a last-minute illness, emergency, or when SSDS, after a thorough attempt, cannot locate a substitute teacher. Any parent who would like to be placed on the list of available substitute teachers should contact the Office. Substitutes should expect to receive little to no advance notice for the request to substitute. At the completion of their day, substitutes must complete a “Check Request/Expense Reimbursement” form (available online) in order to be compensated for their time.

How Does Participation Work?

https://silverspringdayschool.org/support_article/how-many-hours-do-i-need-to-participate/

In-classroom participating parents can expect to participate up to 12 times (full) or six times (half) during the 10-month school year.  However, if a class is under-enrolled, families may be responsible for more than the average 12 times for full participation.

The in-classroom participation schedule is posted outside each classroom at least one month in advance by the classroom Scheduler who is a parent selected by the school to develop, maintain and coordinate the schedule of participation days.

SSDS asks that no more than two family members be designated to participate in the classroom for each child. A participation shift is one full school day, including a 15 minute prep/clean-up period before and after the core school hours. The parent prepares the room for the arrival of the students, assists the classroom teacher and assistant during the day, and cleans up the classroom following dismissal.

 

Is School Closed?

https://silverspringdayschool.org/support_article/is-school-closed/

SSDS follows the Montgomery County Public School (MCPS) policy for inclement weather and school delays/closings. In general, when MCPS is closed due to inclement weather, SSDS will also be closed.

When MCPS opens one hour late, SSDS will also open one hour late; two hours late, SSDS will open two hours late. Early Bird will still be available but delayed accordingly.

When MCPS announces an early closure, SSDS will monitor the situation and make a decision separate from MCPS on a case-by-case basis. Extended Day programs will be cancelled for the afternoon if SSDS closes early. It is the parent or guardian’s responsibility to know about early closings.

While SSDS follows MCPS’ decisions on closures and delays, SSDS will not make up days missed due to inclement weather. Announcements regarding closures/delays will be sent in a school-wide text and email.

What are My Responsibilities as a Parent/Guardian?

https://silverspringdayschool.org/support_article/what-are-my-responsibilities-as-a-parentguardian/

Accessing the Building

Being responsible for the children of SSDS is an awesome task that requires parents, teachers and staff to be diligent at all times whether it be at drop-off, pick-up or while in the classrooms or the playground.

Children are not permitted to run in the hallways or on the stairs for safety reasons. Please encourage your child and those you see to use the handrail on the right hand side of the stairs. Fire doors and janitor closet doors MUST be kept closed at all times.

When leaving the building, a classroom or the playground after drop-off or pick-up, parents should make sure that their child or any other child has not followed them. If parents notice ANY child unattended, please make sure that you find the nearest teacher or bring that child directly to the Office.

When entering and leaving the building, do not hold the door for anyone that you do not know. Outside doors and stairwell doors are to be kept closed at all times and may NEVER be propped open. Please only enter and exit the building at SSDS designated entrances. The Church’s Red Doors will be used when monitored by SSDS staff only on inclement weather days. Please do not use otherwise.

Keeping your Child Home

We all want our children to be healthy! Children MUST stay at home if they have:

  • severe colds
  • green nasal discharge
  • vomited within the past 24 hours
  • pink eye
  • had a fever in the past 24 hours
  • head lice
  • diarrhea
  • a persistent cough

*Any thermometer reading above 99.8 degrees Fahrenheit is considered a fever.

Lunch/Snacks and Emergency Food

Staff does not microwave lunches, so Parents must be sure to provide food that is ready to eat when children open their lunch boxes. Please also remember the no nut policy. SSDS also does not supply cutlery or condiments for lunch.

Parents/Guardians are also responsible for providing their child an individual snack and 1% organic milk every day in addition to lunch.

At the beginning of each school year, teachers will give parents a large plastic bag with their child’s name printed on it. Parents will be responsible for packing a 3-day supply of non-perishable food to keep here at SSDS in case of an emergency. The food will be returned at the end of the school year.

For further information on food-related responsibilities, please refer to the FAQ entry “What Does my Child Need to Bring to School?”

Milk

Parents are responsible for providing milk for their child’s class during their assigned week. This will be included as part of the co-op schedule prepared by the classroom Scheduler. If your child does not drink milk, please be sure to provide an alternative beverage for him/her.

Afternoon Pick-ups and Late Pick-up

Parents and those individuals listed on the SSDS Pick-up Authorization/Allergy form are asked to pick-up their child immediately at the end of class. Children often become quite distressed if a parent or designated person does not pick them up on time. Families who carpool may wish to pick-up notices and treasures from children’s folders and bags and take them to the car before classes let out in order to expedite pick-up.

At the end of the class, children should be collected from their classrooms or the playground, and signed out, so that the teacher knows that the child is leaving. This step is necessary and important for safety reasons. Once you have signed your child or carpool buddy out, it is your responsibility to supervise the children. Assessments and possible removal from the school can result when parents are consistently late picking up their child. SSDS understands that unexpected situations arise which are beyond anyone’s control.

If you are unable to pick your child up and have arranged for someone else to do so, please inform the teacher in writing of these arrangements. If the person who is picking up your child has not been noted on the sign-in/out sheet or on your pick-up authorization form, you will need to send an email or fax to the SSDS Office stating who is picking up your child.

Please call the Office, not your child’s teacher as soon as you know that you will be late. If families arrive after the designated pick-up time, they will be issued a $1/per minute late pick up fine. Late pick-up fines also apply to Little University, Extended Day and the SSDS Summer Program.

Inclement Weather and School Closings

It is the parent or guardian’s responsibility to know about early closings. While SSDS follows MCPS’ decisions on closures and delays, SSDS will not make up days missed due to inclement weather. Announcements regarding closures/delays will be sent in a school-wide text and email.

Parent Jobs

Parents who fail to successfully fulfill their job responsibilities are subject to a non-participation fine of $300.

Consistent late arrival, early departure or not fulfilling responsibilities will result in payment of fines and possible removal from the school.

Parents as Substitutes

Parents are responsible for helping find a substitute teacher or volunteering to substitute teach in the case of a last- minute illness, emergency, or when the Executive Director, after a thorough attempt, cannot locate a substitute teacher.

What are the Requirements to Participate?

https://silverspringdayschool.org/support_article/what-are-the-requirements-to-co-op/

At SSDS, each teacher has carefully crafted the curriculum to ensure the best possible play and learning environment for children. The parent participant supports the teacher by assisting her and the children throughout the day. At the beginning of the year, each teacher clearly defines overall volunteer duties. The teacher also informs parents of specific responsibilities each time they participate. At Back to School Night, all teachers will give parents a list of classroom expectations and rules.

Approved Parent Participants must:

  • be fingerprinted;
  • be medically cleared and have a Medical Report for Child Care form on file;
  • take part in an FBI and state background check;
  • understand and speak English;
  • maintain flexibility with regard to which day they are available to participate. For example, if a parent’s preferred day to participate is Friday, but several other parents have also requested Friday as their preferred day, then each parent should agree to participate on another day of the week from time-to-time in order to allow the Scheduler to be fair to everyone in assigning participation days;
  • arrive 15 minutes before class begins and be prepared to stay as late as 30 minutes after class ends to help clean up. Treat your participation days as you would your job. Teachers rely on parents to help set up for the day before children arrive. Consistent late arrival, early departure or not fulfilling responsibilities will result in payment of fines and possible removal from the school;
  • agree not to use a cellphone during their participation shift; and
  • park in the designated small parking lot only; participant #1 parks in small lot and participant #2 parks in big lot.

What are your age requirements for enrollment?

https://silverspringdayschool.org/support_article/what-are-your-age-requirements-for-enrollment/

SSDS offers programs for children ages 2 through preK, including a Rolling 2s program for those students with a birthday after Sept 1. For the 2019-2020 school year, required ages are as follows:

  • Rolling 2s : child turns 2 between Sept 2 and December 31, 2019
  • Two, Three, and Five Day 2s : child turns 2 on or before September 1, 2019
  • Three, Four, and Five Day 3s : child turns 3 on or before September 1, 2019
  • Five Day 1:15p or 3:30 preK : child turns 4 on or before September 1, 2019

What Does my Child Need to Bring to School?

https://silverspringdayschool.org/support_article/what-does-my-child-need-to-bring-to-school/

Lunches

Children bring their own lunch. Staff does not microwave lunches. Be sure to store food in proper containers. Lunches should be ready to eat when children open their lunch boxes. Please remember the no nut policy. SSDS refrigerates all perishable lunch items. Parents will be given information at the beginning of the school year on where to place their child’s perishable items. 1% organic milk and water are available to all children each day. SSDS does not supply cutlery or condiments for lunch.

Snacks

Parents/guardians are responsible for providing their child an individual snack each day in addition to the child’s lunch. There will be no sharing of snacks or other foods between children. If your child has allergies to other foods besides nuts, a list of snacks that are safe for your child to eat must be provided to the SSDS Office and your child’s teacher.

All parents (including non co-op) are responsible for providing 1% organic milk for their child’s class during their assigned week. This will be included as part of the co-op schedule prepared by the classroom Scheduler.

What is Shadow Participation?

https://silverspringdayschool.org/support_article/what-is-shadow-participation/

What is SSDS’ program license number?

https://silverspringdayschool.org/support_article/what-is-ssds-program-license-number/

SSDS’ license number is 157060

What Time Does School Close on an Early Release Day?

https://silverspringdayschool.org/support_article/what-time-does-school-close-on-an-early-release-day/

SSDS follows the Montgomery County Public School (MCPS) policy for inclement weather and school delays/closings. In general, when MCPS is closed due to inclement weather, SSDS will also be closed. When MCPS opens one hour late, SSDS will also open one hour late; two hours late, SSDS will open two hours late. Classes that normally end at 12:30 pm will stay in session one hour longer, until 1:30 pm. Early Bird will still be available but delayed accordingly. When MCPS announces an early closure, SSDS will monitor the situation and make a decision separate from MCPS on a case-by-case basis. Little University and Extended Day programs will be cancelled for the afternoon if SSDS closes early. It is the parent or guardian’s responsibility to know about early closings. While SSDS follows MCPS’ decisions on closures and delays, SSDS will not make up days missed due to inclement weather. Announcements regarding closures/delays will be sent in a school-wide text and email.

When is the first day of school?

https://silverspringdayschool.org/support_article/when-is-the-first-day-of-school/

Our 2019-2020 school year calendar is currently being determined! Please check back soon.

Where do I Enroll?

https://silverspringdayschool.org/support_article/where-do-i-enroll/

New families can visit and apply here.

Families that have already been accepted may apply to a program.


Communication

Feedback

https://silverspringdayschool.org/support_article/feedback/

SSDS understands the importance of parents feeling comfortable when expressing concerns they may have whether it is classroom or school-related. If parents feel the need to address an issue concerning the classroom they should speak directly with the teacher. (Teachers share parent concerns with the Executive Director.) If this step does not resolve the matter, parents should make an appointment to meet with the Executive Director who will work with parents and the classroom teacher to determine what additional steps need to be taken.

Homeroom Parent and Scheduler

https://silverspringdayschool.org/support_article/homeroom-parent-and-scheduler/

Homeroom Parents and Schedulers attend quarterly Parent Support Committee (PSC) meetings where information about current/future events, planning and the latest school happenings are shared. PSC meetings are held quarterly, with administrative staff and the Executive Director present. Members discuss issues that arise within SSDS, share the perspective of the parents in their class and pass along information from the Executive Director to parents in their children’s class.

Parent/Teacher Conferences

https://silverspringdayschool.org/support_article/parentteacher-conferences/

Specific conference times are set aside twice each year during the fall and in January or February. Parents and teachers may request conferences at other times of the year as well.

Staying Informed

https://silverspringdayschool.org/support_article/when-are-parentteacher-conferences/

Email

Every parent who has access to email is on our school- and committe-wide email distribution lists. Information is passed along to parents via email regularly. Because this is our primary mode of communication, please be sure that the most current email address is on file with the administrative staff. We ask that families not “replay all” to messages sent from the SSDS administrative office. If parents have concerns about the message sent, they should email a staff member directly.

Texting

Every parent’s cell phone number is added at the beginning of the school year to a master list. Texting is used primarily for emergencies, weather related closings, and any other information that needs to get to parents quickly. This is a “no reply” mode of communication.

Student Folders

Each child has an individual folder where flyers, announcements, and other important information will be filed for parents to access. Some teachers have red hanging folder pockets outside each of their classrooms or in the hallways, while others might have a file folder carrier. Parents are expected to check their child’s folder regularly.

Website, Facebook, Yahoo group and Twitter

Visit silverspringdayschool.org for current information. We invite parents to “like” the SSDS Facebook page, join the yahoo group and follow SSDS on Twitter, which can be done on the homepage of the website.

Parent coffees and brown bag lunches

Once per year the Board of Directors conducts brown bag lunches open to all current SSDS families. The lunches provide a forum for the Board to update families on past, current or upcoming school developments, future planning, and for families to pose questions concerning guidelines, policies or other school-related matters.


Policies

Animals in the Classroom

https://silverspringdayschool.org/support_article/animals-in-the-classroom/

SSDS follows MSDE/OCC guidelines concerning animals in the classroom to ensure children’s health and safety. All SSDS staff members review animal handling procedures and precautions with students throughout the school year.

Application Process: Review and Selection

https://silverspringdayschool.org/support_article/application-process-review-and-selection/

As an MSDE (Maryland State Department of Education) approved school that relies on parent participation, SSDS’ admission policy allows a committee made up of members of the SSDS community, to consider each application and then determine which families best demonstrate their understanding of not only the philosophy of our approach to education but also the needs of our school each year. SSDS admits students based on a variety of considerations that include but are not limited to gender, special needs, parental involvement, ratio of families who participate or do not participate in the classroom, and diversity. Selected applicants will be notified and offered admission in the spring prior to the subsequent school year. Silver Spring Day School does not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, national or ethnic origin, socio-economic status, or learning differences in its admission process.

Upon acceptance of a placement offer, tuition payment #1 for the coming school year is due and is non-refundable.

Back to School Night

https://silverspringdayschool.org/support_article/back-to-school-night/

An informative opportunity to meet your child’s teacher, hear from the Board of Directors, visit the classroom and learn about what to expect in the coming year. This is a mandatory meeting for all SSDS families each year.

Building Access

https://silverspringdayschool.org/support_article/building-access/

Being responsible for the children of SSDS is an awesome task that requires parents, teachers and staff to be diligent at all times whether it be at drop-off, pick-up or while in the classrooms or the playground.

Children are not permitted to run in the hallways or on the stairs for safety reasons. Please encourage your child and those you see to use the handrail on the right hand side of the stairs. Fire doors and custodial closet doors MUST be kept closed at all times.

When leaving the building, a classroom or the playground after drop-off or pick-up, parents should make sure that their child or any other child has not followed them. If parents notice ANY child unattended, please make sure that you find the nearest teacher or bring that child directly to the administrative office.

When entering and leaving the building, do not hold the door for anyone that you do not know. Outside doors and stairwell doors are to be kept closed at all times and may NEVER be propped open. Please only enter and exit the building at SSDS designated entrances. The church’s red doors will be used when monitored by SSDS staff only on inclement weather days. Please do not use otherwise.

PreK students are dropped off on the playground each morning (except on inclement weather days) and are picked-up in their classrooms in the afternoon.

2s and 3s enter through the main entrance located at the southwest corner of the building at the intersection of Colesville Rd. and University Blvd. East.

In inclement weather, three building entrances can be used:

  • main entrance
  • playground entrance
  • red doors under the church portico (on University Blvd. Eastbound side)

The main, playground and small parking lot entrances (as well as all exterior doors) are locked at all times and are accessed by using a key pad code that will be distributed to SSDS families at the beginning of the school year and changed at least once per year. Those who do not have the access code must use the intercom at the main (“33”) or playground entrances to enter the building. The main entrance is the only door that should be used unless a family is scheduled for in-classroom participation, in which case participating families must park in the small parking lot facing Woodmoor Shopping Center and enter through the large white doors.

Under no circumstances should children be allowed or encouraged to touch or use keypads located inside and outside the building.

Class Placement

https://silverspringdayschool.org/support_article/class-placement/

Each year the teaching staff, with support from the Executive Director, determines the make-up of each class. Careful thought is given to forming each class and a variety of criteria is used but not limited to in-classroom participation option, gender balance, age of child, and each child’s learning style. SSDS does not honor parents’ specific teacher requests. However, parents can submit a statement describing their child’s learning style directly to the Executive Director, who in turn, will share the statement with the teaching staff to determine a child’s placement. Parents with twins will work directly with SSDS to determine if siblings are to be placed in the same class or separated. SSDS does not take requests for cousins or best friends to be placed together.

SSDS is not staffed to accommodate students that require an individualized education/class plan. If it becomes apparent that the behavior and needs of the student are greater than the structure provided, a meeting with the Executive Director and child’s teachers will be scheduled. Based on the student’s needs, all SSDS families have a responsibility to their child(ren), the class and the school community to find the most appropriate class environment. In a small number of cases, this may require leaving SSDS.

Clothing

https://silverspringdayschool.org/support_article/clothing/

Children and participating parents should wear clothes that are comfortable and can get dirty. Shoes and boots should be appropriate for active play. Children need to be ready for outdoor play and walks (we do walk in the snow). The staff recommends that children wear boots in winter and early spring when the ground is wet. Please LABEL all clothing that belongs to your child. SSDS maintains a lost and found area – please check with the office if you are missing something. After a period of time, all unclaimed items are donated to a local charity. Parents should always pack an extra set of clothing, underwear and shoes for their child to have available in their school bag.

SSDS understands the importance of outdoor play and schedules up to an hour a day for each class to be on our playground. We do consider the wind-chill and heat index in our planning but work towards some amount of outdoor play each day. Parents should make sure their children are prepared for colder and warmer temperatures.

Code of Conduct

https://silverspringdayschool.org/support_article/code-of-conduct/

SSDS has a Code of Conduct that summarizes SSDS’s expectations for our employees, families and volunteers. These same employees, families, and volunteers also abide by our One-on-One Policy. Violation of these will result in disciplinary action, or in the case of volunteers and participants, termination of the ability to volunteer at SSDS or dismissal of their child from the school.  SSDS will report any violations of the law to the local law enforcement authorities.

All staff, volunteers, and classroom participants will not:

  • discriminate against students or families based on race, color, ancestry, national origin, religion, gender, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, marital status, familial status, socioeconomic status, physical attributes, physical or mental disability, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law
  • bully, harass, or intimidate students, staff, or parents
  • engage in abuse or neglect of any child or vulnerable adult, including grooming behaviors through which an adult or a person in a position of authority builds an emotional connection with a child to gain their trust for the purposes of exploitation or other abuse
  • meet with a student one-on-one in a room with the door locked or the lights off
  • Introduce, view or involve children in child pornography
  • engage in inappropriate physical interactions with students, such as—
    • hitting
    • fondling any part of a student’s body
  • NOTE: certain touches may be appropriate in particular circumstances, such as a pats on the back or shoulder, handshakes, high fives, or holding the hands of children to guide or escort them.
  • utilize corporal punishment, or other inappropriate student disciplinary practices, such as
    • shaking
    • slapping
    • shoving
    • pinching
    • ostracizing
    • physical restraints
    • withholding food, light, or medical care
  • engage in inappropriate verbal interactions with students, parents, or staff members such as—
    • name-calling or cursing
    • encouraging students to keep secrets from other adults
    • sexual or offensive humor
    • shaming, belittling, or derogatory remarks including negative comments about physique, body development, dress, or family
    • harsh language that may threaten, degrade, or humiliate

Confidentiality

https://silverspringdayschool.org/support_article/confidentiality/

Parents, guardians, and caregivers who observe behavior issues or are given private information about a student, will NOT SHARE this information with anyone other than the student(s) teacher. They will refrain from giving other parents information about a student’s day, other than their own. It is solely the teacher’s responsibility to share information about any student’s behavior or activities with the child’s parent(s), guardian(s), or caregiver(s).

Under all circumstances, confidentiality about a child’s medical condition and family status shall be preserved unless such information is released at the written request of the family, except in cases where abuse or neglect is a concern. In such cases, state laws and regulations apply.

With prior written informed consent of parents (with legal custody) or a legal guardian, a child’s health records including conference reports, service plans, and follow-up reports may be disclosed or shared with other service providers. Upon request, designated portions or all of the child’s records shall be copied and released to specific individuals named and authorized in writing to receive this information. The originals shall be retained by SSDS.

The Executive Director is authorized to make decisions about the sharing of confidential information, but must also involve the parent(s), guardians or family. Sharing of confidential information is selective and on a need-to-know basis and based on the parent’s authorization for disclosure of such information.

Curriculum

https://silverspringdayschool.org/support_article/curriculum/

SSDS designs its curriculum with the whole child in mind. Based on themes that interest children, activities are designed to motivate all types of learners. Every theme-based unit includes development of fine and gross motor skills, social and emotional growth, and cognitive understanding. Cognitive skills include activities in math, science, reading, and social studies. Children enjoy learning through creative play, art and small group work.

At SSDS, teachers are given the latitude to design their own curriculum with the guidance of developmentally appropriate objectives that are designed especially for our school. Even though children may be learning through different themes, the objectives adhered to by all teachers ensures that each child is learning the same set of skills as they move through our school. These objectives provide the teachers with the necessary tools to prepare our children for success as they move onto their next school experience. Our educational program is also designed to assess children as they develop socially, emotionally, physically and cognitively. Records are kept that allow teachers and parents to see a child’s growth each year. Good assessment tools help the SSDS staff address the needs of each child. SSDS does not have any special curriculum for advanced students.

Discipline

https://silverspringdayschool.org/support_article/discipline/

At SSDS we agree with MSDE’s Office of Child Care, that:

“The goal of discipline is to help children gain self-control, learn to respect the rights of others, and learn rules by which the adult world operates. One of the basic ingredients to good behavior management is to develop a trusting relationship with a child through love, respect and consistency. The child has to learn the difference between the inner world of feelings (the right to be angry) and the outer world where behavior must be controlled and limited – it is a part of being socialized. A child without limits gets very insecure. A child feels safer when s/he knows where the limits are. Too many limits and a child will get resistant and exhibit a lack of self-control. ‘Sympathetic firmness’ makes a happy medium.”

It is never acceptable for an adult to discipline a child using physical means (hitting, slapping, spanking). Verbal attempts should be made to prevent or stop a child from acting inappropriately (harmful behavior) and never used to embarrass or shame. Parents volunteering in the classroom should make the teacher aware of any situation requiring discipline and defer to the teacher’s judgment.

With the use of these strategies, the majority of children will understand what is expected of them and have a positive classroom experience.

In the event that a child is having difficulty in the classroom, the procedures outlined below will be followed.

  • Teachers will document behavior so they can see patterns and changes.
  • Teachers will ask parents to support positive reinforcement of good decisions made by the child at home.
  • Children who cannot keep from hurting other children or letting them play, may be separated temporarily from the group.
  • If a child needs special attention every day, parents, the Executive Director and the child’s teacher will meet to decide on a course of action.
  • Silver Spring Day School reserves the right to remove a student from the school if it is not possible to accommodate the student’s behavior.

Drop-off and Pick-up

https://silverspringdayschool.org/support_article/drop-off-and-pick-up/

Morning Drop-off

All children who attend SSDS are to be escorted by an adult to their respective classrooms (preK students start on the playground) and are not to be dropped off at the school entrance door. At drop-off each parent must  Sign In/Out by initialing the class attendance sheet.

This procedure ensures that transitions at the beginning and the end of each day are safe for your child. Special arrangements should be communicated to the teacher and noted on the sign in/out sheet at this time. Signing in lets the teacher know that your child has arrived. Parents should strive towards getting their child to school on time. The flow of the day is determined at the beginning of each day as children choose playmates and activities. Children who are consistently late have a hard time making the transition into the classroom when the day has already begun without them. This can be a disruptive situation for all the children in the class. SSDS wants every day to be a success for your child – arriving on time helps ensure a positive experience for everyone.

Afternoon Pick-up

Parents and authorized individuals are asked to pick-up their child immediately at the end of class. Children often become quite distressed if a parent or designated person does not pick them up on time. Families who carpool may wish to pick-up notices and treasures from children’s folders and bags and take them to the car before classes let out in order to expedite pick-up.

At the end of the class, children should be collected from their classrooms or the playground, and signed out, so that the teacher knows that the child is leaving. This step is necessary and important for safety reasons. Once you have signed your child or carpool buddy out, it is your responsibility to supervise the children. Assessments and possible removal from the school can result when parents are consistently late picking up their child. SSDS understands that unexpected situations arise which are beyond anyone’s control.

If you are unable to pick your child up and have arranged for someone else to do so, please inform the teacher in writing of these arrangements. If the person who is picking up your child has not been noted on the sign-in/out sheet or on your pick-up authorization form, you will need to send an email or call the SSDS Office stating who is picking up your child.

Late Pick-up

Please call the administrative office, not your child’s teacher, as soon as you know that you will be late. If families arrive after the designated pick-up time, they will be issued a $1/per minute late pick up fine. Late pick-up fines also apply to Little University, Extended Day and Summer Discovery.

Emergency Preparedness

https://silverspringdayschool.org/support_article/emergency-preparedness/

The safety of your children is paramount at SSDS. SSDS is required by the Office of Child Care to have an emergency preparedness plan in place. The Executive Director, or person designated to act in her place, will determine when an emergency situation exists and institute the appropriate response actions. In the case of a fire, bomb threat, flood or other major building problem, the fire alarm will be activated and teachers will evacuate their children under constant supervision and meet in their designated area outside the building. If it is determined that it is not safe to remain near the building after the evacuation or there is a more widespread threat such as a chemical spill or widespread fire, the children will be escorted under teacher supervision to Blair High School.

In the case of a sudden mass-ordered evacuation such as in a declared state of emergency, the children will leave the building under the supervision of their teachers to a mass shelter as determined by the Red Cross. In the event of a natural emergency, i.e., tornado, severe storms, or a hazardous airborne chemicals incident outside the school facility, the children and other occupants of the building will seek shelter in the prearranged designated area in the building.

Each classroom is supplied with basic emergency supplies such as water and first aid kits. If your child is on daily medication, SSDS requires that you have a three-day supply on hand at the school. Parents will be notified as soon as safely possible of emergency situations by activation of one or more of the following communication systems: SSDS text messaging system, email, website and Facebook.

At the beginning of each school year, teachers will give parents a large plastic bag with their child’s name printed on it. Parents will be responsible for packing a 3-day supply of non-perishable food to keep here at SSDS in case of an emergency. The food will be returned at the end of the school year.

Feedback

https://silverspringdayschool.org/support_article/feedback/

SSDS understands the importance of parents feeling comfortable when expressing concerns they may have whether it is classroom or school-related. If parents feel the need to address an issue concerning the classroom they should speak directly with the teacher. (Teachers share parent concerns with the Executive Director.) If this step does not resolve the matter, parents should make an appointment to meet with the Executive Director who will work with parents and the classroom teacher to determine what additional steps need to be taken.

Field Trips

https://silverspringdayschool.org/support_article/field-trips/

Every year SSDS plans several in-house field trips for the children to enjoy. These field trips include storytellers, puppet shows, musicians, and wildlife adventures. All “SSDS Days” and in-house field trips are included in the cost of each child’s annual tuition.

PreK and 4-day classes have field trips outside the school each year. Parents who agree to chaperoning/driving must have an individual seat belt for each passenger and have appropriate car insurance. Parents must provide a car seat and locking clip (if necessary) for their own children as required by law. Parents must also return a signed permission slip to the field trip coordinator before the child will be allowed to participate in any trip. If a signed permission slip is not returned, staff will notify parents to pick their children up from school on the day of the trip. Car seats that must be left at SSDS should be placed in the designated area as determined by the teacher and labeled with the child’s name. All field trip drivers must provide copies of proof of auto insurance and valid driver’s license and submit to the administrative office.  Field trips in the younger classes are limited and require all parents to participate.

Food, Allergies, and Intolerances

https://silverspringdayschool.org/support_article/food-allergies-and-intolerances/

SSDS has strict policies in place to assure the safety of children with serious allergies or a medical condition. It is required that the Medication Administration and Food Allergy Policy form be initialed and signed by the parent or guardian of children with medication at the school.

Any child who requires that medication be kept or administered here at SSDS must come to the Office to get additional information and receive the required paperwork. Under no circumstances should parents provide medication in a child’s lunch, drink, etc. All medication needs to be administered in the Office and under the supervision of an SSDS staff member.

A list of children and their respective allergies is posted in all classrooms at the beginning of the school year. The list includes those students who keep epi-pens in the classroom and/or the school Office. Parents should familiarize themselves with this list.

Cooking and Food

Parents of children with allergies should be aware of special days during the school year when food may be served by the school or other parents (such as after the Halloween celebrations, Pizza/PJ days, cooking in the classroom and birthday celebrations in the classroom) and discuss an alternate menu with your child’s teacher. Additionally, throughout the course of the year, teachers may incorporate cooking into lesson plans. Whenever possible, teachers adhere to healthy choices. When cooking is planned, teachers will communicate this clearly to parents at the beginning of the month in the lesson plans. If parents have certain restrictions on a child’s diet, it is imperative that the parent remains attentive to the lesson plans for the month and plan accordingly on scheduled cooking days. Parents can choose to bring in an alternate snack for the child for that day if they are opposed to the class’ cooking project or to keep the child home that day. SSDS values nutrition and healthy options but there are times when not all projects are sugar-free.

Parents/guardians are responsible for providing their child an individual snack each day in addition to the child’s lunch. There will be no sharing of snacks or other foods between children. If your child has allergies to other foods besides nuts, a list of snacks that are safe for your child to eat must be provided to the SSDS Office and your child’s teacher.

Lactose Intolerance

Parents of children in this situation should speak directly to the teacher about when dairy products can be offered. If pills are necessary for the child, a medication form must be completed and be on file in the Office. Parents can choose to provide their own dairy-free beverage and store it in a school refrigerator.

Fundraising at SSDS

https://silverspringdayschool.org/support_article/fundraising-at-ssds/

Successful fundraising by the school means better equipment and supplies, exceptional staff development opportunities, and in general, a higher standard of educational opportunities for our children. The ability to supplement our annual budget with these additional funds helps keep SSDS tuition competitive. SSDS understands that raising a family is hard work and takes good financial planning. Therefore, we try to keep our fundraising activities from being too overbearing by making it fun. The events listed below are some ways SSDS raises these much-needed funds.

Homeroom Parent and Scheduler

https://silverspringdayschool.org/support_article/homeroom-parent-and-scheduler/

Homeroom Parents and Schedulers attend quarterly Parent Support Committee (PSC) meetings where information about current/future events, planning and the latest school happenings are shared. PSC meetings are held quarterly, with administrative staff and the Executive Director present. Members discuss issues that arise within SSDS, share the perspective of the parents in their class and pass along information from the Executive Director to parents in their children’s class.

In-classroom Participation Day Responsibilities

https://silverspringdayschool.org/support_article/in-classroom-participation-day-responsibilities/

Milk

Parents are responsible for providing milk for their child’s class during their assigned week. This will be included as part of the in-classroom participation schedule prepared by the classroom Scheduler. If your child does not drink milk, please be sure to provide an alternative beverage for him/her.

Parking on a In-classroom Participation Day

2s and 3s participating parents must park in the smaller lot, accessed from University Blvd. Westbound (across from Woodmoor Shopping Center) or Colesville Road Northbound. Spaces are specifically marked for parents. Please do not park in church designated spaces. PreK participating parents park in the large parking lot in the designated parent spaces. On double in-classroom participation days, parent #1 parks in the small lot; parent #2 parks in the big lot in a spot farthest away from the building near the dumpster.

Medication Administration, Food Allergy Policy, Hygiene and Health Matters

https://silverspringdayschool.org/support_article/medication-administration-food-allergy-policy-hygiene-and-health-matters/

SSDS has strict policies in place to assure the safety of children with serious allergies or a medical condition. It is required that the Medication Administration and Food Allergy Policy form be initialed and signed by the parent or guardian of children with medication at the school, showing compliance and understanding of the following policy:

In order for a staff member or substitute teacher to administer the epi-pen, asthma inhaler or any other medication, the following documents need to be signed:

  1. Medication Authorization Form — signed by parent/guardian for each medication provided to SSDS;
  2. Release and Indemnification Agreement — signed by parent/guardian AND physician;
  3. Food Allergy or Medication Administration Action Plan — signed by parent/guardian AND physician.

Any child who requires that medication be kept or administered here at SSDS must come to the Office to get additional information and receive the required paperwork. Under no circumstances should parents provide medication in a child’s lunch, drink, etc. All medication needs to be administered in the Office and under the supervision of an SSDS staff member.

A list of children and their respective allergies is posted in all classrooms at the beginning of the school year. The list includes those students who keep epi-pens in the classroom and/or the school Office. Parents should familiarize themselves with this list.

For classes that have a child with a severe allergy the snacks of ALL families should be completely nut free including no traces of nuts (not made in the same factory w/nut products). The school or the parents of the child with the nut allergy can provide a list of nut free snacks if a family has any questions or needs some ideas. This will be strictly enforced.

Milk Requirement

https://silverspringdayschool.org/support_article/milk-requirement/

Parents are responsible for providing milk for their child’s class during their assigned week. This will be included as part of the co-op schedule prepared by the classroom Scheduler. If your child does not drink milk, please be sure to provide an alternative beverage for him/her.

Music, Movement, Spanish and Art Specials

https://silverspringdayschool.org/support_article/music-movement-spanish-and-art-specials/

In addition to the enriching classroom experience, SSDS offers special classes in art, music, drama and Spanish as part of its curriculum. These special classes are offered bi-weekly or monthly depending on the child’s class and are taught by our very talented specials teachers.

Every year SSDS plans several in-house field trips for the children to enjoy. These field trips include storytellers, puppet shows, musicians, and wildlife adventures. All “SSDS Days” and in-house field trips are included in the cost of each child’s annual tuition.

Specials Teachers are current teachers, assistant teachers or past/current SSDS family members who have experience working with young children and have expertise in a special area. Currently, SSDS has specials classes in Spanish language and culture, art, music and drama.

New Parent Orientation

https://silverspringdayschool.org/support_article/new-parent-orientation/

Alumni parents and parents new to the school attend a mandatory new parent orientation held in the spring prior to a new school year. Additionally, parents selecting the co-op option will be required to “shadow” co-op in the classroom with a current, experienced parent. The orientation and the “shadowing” will help new families become familiar with the duties and responsibilities of a parent at SSDS. Shadowing in the classroom will take place from the end of March through the beginning of May.

One-on-One Policy

https://silverspringdayschool.org/support_article/one-on-one-policy/

The majority of a staff member’s or volunteer’s time at SSDS is spent in the company of children and other adults.

If it is necessary for an adult to be alone with a child, doors must be left open and adults are asked to stay within sight of other adults whenever possible.  The adult should inform other staff that they are alone with a child and ask them to randomly drop in.  Adults should never be alone in any room with a child with the door locked or the lights turned off.

If possible, adults should bring more than one child to the bathroom at a time.  Exterior doors to children’s bathrooms and changing areas must be left open. Only SSDS bathrooms should be used (not church bathrooms).

SSDS requires that at least two adults be on premises at all times when children are being cared for.

Adults should document and immediately report any unusual incidents, including disclosures of abuse or maltreatment, severe behavior problems and how they were handled, severe injuries, or any interactions that might be misinterpreted, using the SSDS Reportable Child Incident Form.

Outdoor Play

https://silverspringdayschool.org/support_article/outdoor-play/

SSDS understands the importance of outdoor play and schedules up to an hour a day for each class to be on our playground. We do consider the wind-chill and heat index in our planning but work towards some amount of outdoor play each day. Parents should make sure their children are prepared for colder and warmer temperatures. Weather Watch information is posted throughout the school for reference.

Parent Jobs

https://silverspringdayschool.org/support_article/parent-jobs/

Classroom-based or School-wide Jobs
Each family can volunteer to take on a leadership or committee chairmanship or be assigned a job which supports the classroom, school or yearlong fundraising events. Families with more than one child attending are assigned a position for each student enrolled. Parents may not sign up for the same duty for each child’s class. Although non co-oping parents are exempt from assisting in the classroom, they are not exempt from fulfilling their obligations to hold a position. Failure to participate in school-wide fundraising events—or any other committee—subjects a family to possible penalties, including fines and in rare cases, even expulsion.

No one job is more important than the other. Families will represent their class(es) as they participate in each SSDS event, becoming a part of the class community. Parent jobs are the “PTA” of our program –- they are the means to fundraising, community building, and cost cutting. Our families are essential to SSDS!

 

Parent/Teacher Conferences

https://silverspringdayschool.org/support_article/parentteacher-conferences/

Specific conference times are set aside twice each year during the fall and in January or February. Parents and teachers may request conferences at other times of the year as well.

Parents as Partners

https://silverspringdayschool.org/support_article/parents-as-partners/

SSDS relies on the cooperation of its parents to fulfill the school’s mission and to work in tandem with the staff and other adults to provide a safe and nurturing school experience for the children in our community. Any parent who disrespects this mission by engaging in contentious or disruptive behavior towards SSDS staff, parents or children will be asked to withdraw from the school.

Parking

https://silverspringdayschool.org/support_article/parking/

At the beginning of each school year parents will be given an SSDS Parking Pass (mirror hanger) and two copies of the parking map. We ask you to review the map carefully and become familiar with the guidelines that accompany the map. The Parking Pass is to be prominently displayed in ALL vehicles that are used to drop off, pick up, & park on site at SSDS. This should include the vehicles of parents, guardians, caregivers, grandparents, and any adult responsible for a student at SSDS.

Please make sure to share all of the parking guidelines and map with everyone who is responsible for dropping off/picking up your child(ren) from school.

Please remember to:

  • Be on time so that you can free up spaces for others.
  • Be patient. We must all work together; be gracious and courteous to others.
  • Ignore your cell phones while driving in the parking lot.
  • Follow the directions provided on the parking map. The directions are there to help make parking, drop-off and pick-up safe for everyone.
  • Be extremely cautious of children in the parking lot, both when driving and walking.

Rest Time

https://silverspringdayschool.org/support_article/rest-time/

MSDE’s Office of Child Care requires a rest time for children who attend daytime childcare programs for longer than four hours. Children who attend Little University or Extended Day will have a rest period. Rest periods last from 15-30 minutes. Children who attend extended day and are still napping will discuss their child’s individual napping requirements with the extended day staff.

School Closings and Early Releases

https://silverspringdayschool.org/support_article/school-closings-and-early-releases/

SSDS follows the Montgomery County Public School (MCPS) policy for inclement weather and school delays/closings. In general, when MCPS is closed due to inclement weather, SSDS will also be closed. When MCPS opens one hour late, SSDS will also open one hour late; two hours late, SSDS will open two hours late. Classes that normally end at 12:30 pm will stay in session one hour longer, until 1:30 pm. Early Bird will still be available but delayed accordingly. When MCPS announces an early closure, SSDS will monitor the situation and make a decision separate from MCPS on a case-by-case basis. Little University and Extended Day programs will be cancelled for the afternoon if SSDS closes early. It is the parent or guardian’s responsibility to know about early closings. While SSDS follows MCPS’ decisions on closures and delays, SSDS will not make up days missed due to inclement weather. Announcements regarding closures/delays will be sent in a school-wide text and email.

The safety of your children is paramount at SSDS. SSDS is required by the Office of Child Care to have an emergency preparedness plan in place. The Executive Director, or person designated to act in her place, will determine when an emergency situation exists and institute the appropriate response actions. In the case of a fire, bomb threat, flood or other major building problem, the fire alarm will be activated and teachers will evacuate their children under constant supervision and meet in their designated area outside the building. If it is determined that it is not safe to remain near the building after the evacuation or there is a more widespread threat such as a chemical spill or widespread fire, the children will be escorted under teacher supervision to Blair High School.

In the case of a sudden mass-ordered evacuation such as in a declared state of emergency, the children will leave the building under the supervision of their teachers to a mass shelter as determined by the Red Cross. In the event of a natural emergency, i.e., tornado, severe storms, or a hazardous airborne chemicals incident outside the school facility, the children and other occupants of the building will seek shelter in the prearranged designated area in the building.

Each classroom is supplied with basic emergency supplies such as water and first aid kits. If your child is on daily medication, SSDS requires that you have a three-day supply on hand at the school. Parents will be notified as soon as safely possible of emergency situations by activation of one or more of the following communication systems: SSDS text messaging system, email, website, Facebook, and class phone tree.

School-wide Clean-ups

https://silverspringdayschool.org/support_article/school-wide-clean-ups/

Parents are required to participate in the school-wide clean up day at the beginning of the year in late August; mid year in late January; and at the end of the year in June. Participation in clean up days is mandatory. Failure to participate can result in fines and possible removal from the school.

Sick Child Policy

https://silverspringdayschool.org/support_article/sick-child-policy/

We all want our children to be healthy! For the health and safety of all, children MUST stay home if they have:

  • severe colds
  • green nasal discharge
  • a persistent cough (unless a doctor has sent a note saying the cough is not contagious)
  • A contagious illness

Below is the SSDS policy for returning to school following a few of the more common contagious illnesses.

  • If a child is vomiting, the child can return to school only after 24 hours have passed since the last incident of vomiting
  • If a child has diarrhea, the child can return to school only after 24 hours have passed since the last incident of diarrhea
  • If a child has Pink Eye, also known as Conjunctivitis. the child can return to school 24 hours after starting antibiotic drops, or later at the advice of the doctor
  • If a child has Head Lice, the child can return to school 48 hours after being treated, once the child is Lice and nit free.
  • If a child has a fever, the child can return to school after being fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medication
  • If a child has Strep Throat, the child can return to school 24 hours after starting an antibiotic, so long as they are fever free
  • If a child has the Flu, the child can return to school upon receiving a note from the doctor stating that the child is no longer contagious

 

SSDS staff follows regulations set forth by the State of Maryland that are intended to prevent the spread of illnesses. When monitoring a child’s potential illness, SSDS:

  • Uses a digital ear thermometer on children suspected of having a fever. Any reading above 99.8 is considered a fever and requires parent notification.
  • Notifies parent or other designated person when signs of illness or fever are observed. Every family is required to provide telephone numbers where a parent or other responsible person can be reached at any time during the school day. If there is no answer at the primary emergency number (home or office) and spouse’s office, staff will begin calling the alternative emergency numbers provided on the emergency contact list.
  • Contact parents or designated individual to pick-up their ill child within 30 minutes of notification (one hour if traveling from an out-of-state office). SSDS does not have the staff or the space to provide a separate waiting area for sick children. Staff will attempt to keep ill children separated from the other children in the classroom, or bring them to the Administrative Office.
  • Receive a written note from parent or physician after an absence of three or more days stating that the child may return to a normal schedule.
  • Report to the local health officer cases of certain communicable diseases including head lice (child must be treated and nit-free for 48 hours before returning to school), scabies, ringworm, strep throat, hand-foot-and-mouth disease, Fifth’s disease, chicken pox, impetigo, pinworm, and conjunctivitis. When certain diseases are reported in two or more children, school staff will notify the entire school community, but will not identify affected children when notifying parents. If a child has one of these diseases, then the parent is responsible for supplying SSDS a note stating that the child is no longer contagious and that a pediatrician has given permission for the child to return to school.
  • Not administer medication of any kind without a Medication Order Form. This includes cough syrup, antibacterial ointments, and other over-the-counter medicines. If medication, including prescription medication, needs to be administered during school hours, please see the Office for the required medication order forms.

Start and End Times

https://silverspringdayschool.org/support_article/start-and-end-times/

Start and end times by age group:

2s day

  • Starts at 9:30 a.m.
  • Ends at 1:30 p.m.

3s and 4/5s day

  • Starts at 9:30 a.m.
  • Ends at 1:30 p.m.

pre-K

  • Starts at 9:15 a.m.
  • Ends at 1:15 p.m.

At the beginning of the school year, SSDS starts with a modified end time to help children ease into the school day. For the month of September we will end our day at 12:30 pm rather than the normal 1:30 dismissal time. The first school day in October we will begin with the 1:30 release time.

Please note that if either the teacher or parent does not feel like the child is ready for the 1:30 dismissal time, the teacher and parent will work together to support the child until the child is ready for the later dismissal time.

During September, arrangements for children in the Extended Day program are taken care of by SSDS.

Staying Informed

https://silverspringdayschool.org/support_article/when-are-parentteacher-conferences/

Email

Every parent who has access to email is on our school- and committe-wide email distribution lists. Information is passed along to parents via email regularly. Because this is our primary mode of communication, please be sure that the most current email address is on file with the administrative staff. We ask that families not “replay all” to messages sent from the SSDS administrative office. If parents have concerns about the message sent, they should email a staff member directly.

Texting

Every parent’s cell phone number is added at the beginning of the school year to a master list. Texting is used primarily for emergencies, weather related closings, and any other information that needs to get to parents quickly. This is a “no reply” mode of communication.

Student Folders

Each child has an individual folder where flyers, announcements, and other important information will be filed for parents to access. Some teachers have red hanging folder pockets outside each of their classrooms or in the hallways, while others might have a file folder carrier. Parents are expected to check their child’s folder regularly.

Website, Facebook, Yahoo group and Twitter

Visit silverspringdayschool.org for current information. We invite parents to “like” the SSDS Facebook page, join the yahoo group and follow SSDS on Twitter, which can be done on the homepage of the website.

Parent coffees and brown bag lunches

Once per year the Board of Directors conducts brown bag lunches open to all current SSDS families. The lunches provide a forum for the Board to update families on past, current or upcoming school developments, future planning, and for families to pose questions concerning guidelines, policies or other school-related matters.

Teacher/Child Ratio

https://silverspringdayschool.org/support_article/teacherchild-ratio/

SSDS recognizes the importance of having a small teacher to child ratio in order to provide an optimal learning environment. Ratios are based on class size and age of children. SSDS maintains classes that are below the ratios mandated by the MSDE.

SSDS Ratios

  • 2-year-olds: one teacher/adult to every three to four children
  • 3/4-year-olds: one teacher/adult to every five to six children
  • 4-year-olds and pre-K: one teacher/adult to every six to nine children

MSDE Ratios

  • 2-year-olds: one teacher/adult to every six children
  • 3/4-year-olds: one teacher/adult to every 12 children
  • 4-year-olds and pre-K: one teacher/adult to every 12 children