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Shining Stars Preschool

Policy Handbook
State Route 31
Donegal, PA

Table of Contents
Welcome .1
Mission Statement...2
My Philosophy of Education...3
Contact Information.6
Learning Environment.7
The Science Center..7
The Math Center .7
The Reading Center.8
The Technology Center...8
The Block Center.8
The Train Station Center..9
The Dramatic Play Center9
The Music and Movement Center9
The Art Center .....9
Water and Sand Table Center..10
Puzzles and Board Games Center....10
Classroom Set-up.....10
Outside Play Area....11
Curriculum.......11
Language Arts..12
Math.....12
Social Studies...14
Science.....15
Comprehensive Arts........16
DAP-Developmentally Appropriate Practice..17
Developmental Needs of Pre-School Students....20
Parent Involvement......21
Family Involvement.....23
Technology...24
Children with Special Needs....25
Appendix......27
Getting to Know Your Child....28
Parent/Guardian Contact Information......29
Allergy Information.....30
Medication Form......31
Arrival/Departure Form.......32
We Need Your Help!...................................................................................................33
Photo Release Form.....34
Field Trip Permission Form.........35
Shining Stars Preschool Schedule....36
References....37
Parent Materials38
Book It Night Invitation...39
Field Trip Invitation Letter...40
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Scholastic Book Fair Invitation Letter..41

Welcome to Shining Stars Preschool!


Hello parents and guardians. Im very excited to welcome you and your child(ren) to
Shining Stars Preschool. Shining Stars Preschool was created in March 2010 to help and teach
young children in the local community. When Shining Stars Preschool was first created, only
children that were four and five years of age could attend. In 2012, Shining Stars Preschool
decided to expand to meet the needs of the community. Since 2012, Shining Stars Preschool has
served children from ages 8 months to 5 years. Currently, Shining Stars Preschool serves about
forty children from the ages of 8 months to 5 years old. I believe that parents and teachers both
impact the education of a child. Shining Stars Preschool makes sure that parents and early
childhood educators work together to help their children succeed in preschool. I look forward to
working with you and your child!!

Mission Statement
Shining Stars Preschool is dedicated to helping young children succeed in the classroom
and in the future. Shining Stars Preschool believes that young children need to learn and have
fun at the same time. The curriculum at Shining Stars Preschool covers math, science, social
studies, language arts, music, art and drama while having fun. Shining Stars Preschool allows
young children to learn at their own pace. In addition, Shining Stars Preschool incorporates
many hands-on activities into the curriculum. Shining Stars Preschool prides itself on using
technology in the classroom and providing an equal learning opportunity for all students.
Students of all abilities are welcomed at Shining Starts Preschool. Shining Stars Preschool also
believes that young children need to have playtime during the day. Therefore, young children at
Shining Stars Preschool will have at least an hour of playtime during the day. In conclusion,
Shining Stars Preschool is committed to helping young children of all abilities succeed in the
classroom.

My Philosophy of Education
As the director of Shining Stars Preschool, I created the preschool based off of my own
philosophy of education. I want to share my philosophy of education with the parents and
guardians enrolling their children into my preschool.
My Classroom
How can I help all students receive an appropriate and equal education? As a future
teacher, I want to help all students receive a proper and equal education by individualizing the
lessons to meet each students needs. I will welcome and embrace all students into my
classroom. My classroom will be a safe and comfortable environment for students of all
abilities. I want my students to understand that my classroom is always open to them and I will
always be there to listen to their needs. The students best interests will be my main priority. In
addition, I want my classroom to be an enjoyable learning environment with hands-on activities.
Theorist of Early Childhood Education
The work of the theorist, Maria Montessori, stated that children learn best through their
own direct and hands-on experiences of the world. Montessori believed children have a desire to
explore and understand the world around them and saw the children as self-motivated explorers.
In the classroom, Montessori had child-sized furniture and accessible and organized shelves for
children to reach. The role of the teacher was to observe and guide the children, as well as create
learning experiences that actively involved the students. Montessori said, an orderly
environment helps children focus on their learning and concentration skills (Feeney, Moravcik
& Nolte, 2013, p. 87). I will allow children to explore the classroom environment while they
complete hands-on activities in all content areas, especially science and math.

Equal Opportunity in My Classroom


Although hands-on activities are important in my classroom, I know that I need to teach
information in multiple formats. Students learn differently and I will modify the lessons to fit
the needs of the student. For visual learners in my classroom, I will utilize the chalkboard,
projector or smart board and have graphic organizers, games and puzzles. For auditory learners
in my classroom, I will verbally explain the information to the students. Other students with
disabilities will need accommodations and modifications to aid their learning. I will make sure
students with disabilities receive an equal and appropriate education by modifying the lessons to
fit their needs. Accommodations will be provided for students with disabilities to participate in
hands-on activities. Technology, such as smart boards and iPads, will help all students because
they have components for visual, auditory and hands-on learners. I will dedicate myself to help
every student in my classroom receive an appropriate education by using technology and
multiple teaching methods.
21st Century Learning
An appropriate education is more important than ever in the 21st century because of the
current economy. Students need an appropriate education so they can learn skills they will use
for the rest of their lives. Learners in the 21st century tend to learn life skills, such as counting
and sorting items, better through hands-on activities. Also, students in todays society tend to
learn better when they can use technology to complete an assignment. Technology is becoming
prevalent in society. Therefore, I want to prepare students to work with technology so they can
utilize it in their future careers. I will teach students how to use technology to have a good
foundation of skills to build upon. It will be important for me to stay current with technology
because it is constantly changing. I am willing to learn how to use the technology to teach my

students. To serve all 21st century learners, I will complete hands-on activities and utilize current
technology.
As a 21st century teacher, it is my responsibility to teach students skills they will use the
rest of their lives. These skills will include self-help skills, technology skills and learning skills.
I will collaborate with parents to develop these skills. Therefore, I will include ideas, such as
being helpful and responsible, into my content area lessons. I also want to teach students these
basic skills in all of their content areas, such as math and reading. It is important for students to
have a good foundation of mathematical and reading skills because they can easily build upon
them in their academic career. In addition, I want to teach students how to use technology for
educational and enjoyment purposes. Technology is not going to go away; technology is only
going to advance. Thus, it is vital to teach students how to use technology. I am dedicated to
help all students acquire skills they will use for the rest of their lives.
Collaboration with Parents
To help my students obtain skills and reach their full potential, I need to communicate
with the students parents. Parents know their children the best. Therefore, parents are a vital
resource to understand why their children have certain behaviors. I want to create personal
relationships with each students parents by having the parents feel comfortable to email or call
me with any questions they have about their children. Parent-teacher conferences are important
and will occur at least once a month to discuss their childs progress. Parents should know what
their children are learning in class. Hence, a weekly e-mail with the information being taught in
class will be sent to parents every Sunday night. Also, a paper copy of the information being
taught in class each week will be sent home. I will have teacher-parent network nights
throughout the year. At these network nights, parents will have the opportunity to discuss the

lessons in the classroom and any concerns they have about their children. By having multiple
methods of communication, I can effectively communicate with parents and discuss how we can
work together and help their child succeed in school.

Contact Information:
Ms. Nicole Burrell
Director and Head Preschool Teacher

Ms. Michaela Plute


Assistant Preschool Teacher

724-593-7500 Ext: 1

724-593-7500 Ext: 2

Ms. Stephanie Sholtis

Ms. Sarah Smith

Assistant Preschool Teacher

Nurse

724-593-7500 Ext: 3

724-593-7500 Ext: 4

Mr. Aaron Brown

Mr. Jeremy Black

Psychologist

Physical Therapist

724-593-7500 Ext: 5

724-593-7500 Ext: 6

Ms. Jamie White


Occupational Therapist
724-593-7500 Ext: 7

Learning Environment
The learning environment for young children is vital to the information they learn. At
Shining Stars Preschool, the environment of the classroom helps children focus on their lessons.
All students have cubbies with their names on. The cubbies are near the main entrance and are
easily accessible by the young children. The young children can place their backpacks and other
belongings into the cubbies. At any time, the children can get their belongings out of their
cubbies. After the young children pass their cubbies, they walk into the big room in the
preschool. The big room has many different interest centers for the young children. The interest
centers include science, dramatic play, reading, technology, math, art, music, blocks, train
station, puzzles and games and water and sand tables.

The Science Center


The science center has many magnifying glasses, goggles, seashells, leaves, microscopes
and books about science topics. Also, the pet hermit crabs cage sets on the table for the young
children to look at and take care of. The young children explore natures beauty at this center
and become little scientists. This center is located on the left side of the room next to the math
center.

The Math Center


At the math center, the young children can use the counting blocks, small dinosaurs,
small cupcakes and different wooden shapes to count and sort. The young children explore the
wonders of math at this center and become wonderful mathematicians. This center is located on
the left side of the room next to the science center.

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The Reading Center


The reading center has a small couch for the students to sit on while reading a book.
Books of all topics are on the bookshelves for the children to reach. Almost twenty-five books
are accessible for the children to read and look at. This center is located at the far right of the
room next to the technology center.

The Technology Center


Twenty iPads and five computers make up the technology center. Headphones are
provided for the children to plug into the iPads or into the computers. The technology center has
two child-sized tables and five child-sized chairs for the children to sit on. The computers have
educational games already downloaded onto the computer for the children to play. Educational
apps of all topics are already on the iPads for the children to play. The children can ask the
teachers for help if they are not sure how to play a game or app. This center is located at the far
right of the room next to the reading center.

The Block Center


The block center has multiple shelves full of different sized blocks for the young children
to build with. The shelves are on the floor and easily accessible to the young children. The
young children can build houses or skyscrapers. All of the teachers encourage the children to let
their imaginations run wild while being safe. After playing with the blocks, the children can
easily clean up the blocks because of the low shelves and picture guides. The shelves have
images of the blocks for the children to know where the certain blocks belong. This center is
located in the upper right corner of the room.

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The Train Station Center


The train station center is located next to the block center in the upper right corner of the
room. Children can play with the multiple trains and tracks in the train center. Again, teachers
encourage the children to use their imaginations to create and build any train station they would
like.

The Dramatic Play Center


The dramatic play center is on the other side of the classroom by the math center. Many
clothes including dresses, firefighter suits, construction vests, headdresses, nurses outfits and
many different cultural outfits are available for the children to play with. Also, the dramatic play
center has many tools such as plastic screwdrivers, stethoscopes and hard hats for the children to
play with. The children can even play with multiple puppets and put on a puppet show in this
interest center. A kitchen with a complete set of pots and pans and fake food is also in the
dramatic play center.

The Music and Movement Center


The music and movement center is located next to the dramatic play center on the left
side of the room. Rattles, small and large drums, harmonicas, CD players and CDs are available
for the children to play with. Teachers encourage the children to make their own music or dance
to the music on the CDs.

The Art Center


Looking around the room, the art center is near the music and movement center. Play
dough, art easels, paintbrushes, finger paint, crayons, colored paper, markers, strings and pasta
are just some of the materials available for the young children to play with in the art center. The
children can use scissors, glue and beads with a teachers supervision. Teachers encourage the

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children to utilize their imagination and create any picture or craft they would like. Each week,
the children create a craft related to the theme of the week. Some of the themes at Shining Stars
Preschool include oceans, farm animals, zoo animals, bugs and families and their cultures.

Water and Sand Table Center


The water and sand tables are located right next to the art center. Children can build
castles and towers in the sand by utilizing the shovels and rakes in the sand table. At the water
table, the children can explore water through various tube and cups.

Puzzles and Board Games Center


Finally, the last interest center at Shining Stars Preschool has many puzzles and board
games for the children to complete near the science center. Puzzles and board games of all topics
are abundant for the children to play. The puzzles and games center is designed for children to
develop and strengthen their critical thinking skills.

Classroom Set-up
All of the interest centers are towards the outside of the classroom because the tables and
chairs are in the middle of the classroom. Shining Stars Preschool has six child-sized tables with
six child-sized chairs at each table. The children use the tables and chairs during breakfast,
lunch, snack and art time. On the other side of the tables and chairs, a large and colorful rug lays
on the floor. The large rug has spots for the children to sit on. Children sit on the rug at the
beginning of the day and during story time. The classroom has many windows, lights, blinds and
ceiling fans to regulate light and heat. The childrens work will be placed on the classroom
walls. All of the childrens creations will be on eye level for the children to view. Two
bathrooms are located at the back of the classroom. The sinks and toilets in the bathrooms are
easily accessible to the children. Teachers always supervise the children while they use the

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restroom. The teachers stand outside of the bathroom door and help the children, if needed. In
addition, the kitchen is located at the back of the classroom. A refrigerator houses all of the
items needed to make breakfast, lunch and snack. The teachers make all of the students
breakfast, lunch and snack. Also, the main office is located at the back of the classroom. The
main office has adequate space for the teachers and parents to have conferences and express
multiple ideas. The office also has three computers for the teachers to utilize and complete
lesson plans. Many teacher books on reading, math, science, and social studies are available for
use in the office. Many educational journals from NAYEC and parent magazines also are on the
bookshelves in the office. Parents can borrow any book or magazine they would like to read.
Finally, each teacher has an iPad to use in the classroom. In addition, each student has an iPad
that he or she can use during technology time. To keep the classroom organized, many shelves,
cabinets, baskets, cubbies and cupboards house multiple materials. Whenever the temperature is
at least fifty-five degrees outside and it is not raining, the children will go outside for recess.

Outside Play Area


The outside play area has a slide and gym area with woodchips, a basketball hoop and
play house in the grass and a fence around the entire area. Balls and small tricycles are available
for the children to play with outside. Also, the teachers take multiple educational games and
activities outside for the children to play with.

Curriculum
At Shining Stars Preschool, the young children receive instruction on multiple subjects
throughout the day. The subjects the young children learn about include language arts, math,
social studies, science and comprehensive arts. Children receive at least thirty minutes of

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instruction from all of the subjects every day. Hands-on activities are used to teach all of the
subjects because children learn best through exploration. Also, we realize that technology is
valued in the 21st century. Therefore, the teachers have the children complete many technology
based activities.

Language Arts
The language arts topics that we teach include reading, writing, spelling, speaking and
listening. Preschool students learn the purpose of reading and many other important topics
throughout the school year. The teachers explain and show the students multiple items people
read. The items shown in class include childrens books, menus, maps, magazines, cookbooks
and phone books. The students learn to recognize upper case letters and begin to differentiate
between words and sentences. Also, the students associate some names of letters with their
shapes and sounds. During language arts time, teachers and students will read nursery rhymes,
poems and books. Listening to music during language arts time helps the students experiment
with the sounds that words make. Students match vocabulary words to picture clues and
describe pictures in books using details. Each day a different story will be read to the students
based on the theme of the week. The students learn to retell the story in order and answer
questions about the story. Also, the students distinguish the beginning and ending of a story and
how to hold a book correctly. The students draw pictures and explain to the teachers what they
drew. All students learn to write their name on their papers and projects. Finally, the students
practice following two-step directions and listening and responding attentively to conversations.

Math
At Shining Stars Preschool, the teachers love to use hands-on activities for math class. All
of the math skills taught at the preschool are utilized throughout the entire year. At the beginning

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of the year, the preschool students learn how to count up to ten using their fingers. Teachers
encourage the students to name the numerals up to ten. The students also learn how to count the
blocks and other various materials in the classroom. Math is even incorporated into other
activities during the day, such as breakfast and recess. The teachers ask the students how many
items they have on their plate for breakfast or how many balls they are playing with during
recess. The students learn to sort objects by their different characteristics. Teachers read number
sentences while holding objects, such as balls or circles. The students learn to read the number
sentences along with the teachers. Estimating objects is also taught to the students. The students
estimate the amount of blocks on the block shelf or the amount of carrots on their snack plate. At
the beginning of every day, the students look at the calendar and state the day and use terms such
as yesterday, today and tomorrow. Students look at clocks on the wall and realize that clocks tell
time. Each student has a paper clock to explore. Teachers explain measurement to the students
and use words, such as steps, inches, feet, longer and shorter. Also, the students practice looking
at various sized containers and decide what objects fit in each container. Another lesson has the
students and teachers create graphs on the students favorite colors and flavors of ice cream.
Students draw conclusions on the graphs with the teachers guidance and questioning. The
questions ask the students to find the favorite color and ice cream flavor overall. Students learn
to identify and describe patterns. Students look at patterns in the environment, such as the stripes
on the flag, and patterns in materials, such as blocks and trains. Finally, the students look at
simple three-dimensional shapes, such as cubes and cylinders. Teachers use concrete objects,
such as soup cans, play dough, blocks and party hats, to show the students three-dimensional
objects.

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Social Studies
At Shining Stars Preschool, the teachers value social studies and the roles of members in
the community. All of the social studies skills the preschool students learn will be used
throughout the year. At the beginning of the year, the students learn about rules and
consequences. The teachers explain the rules of preschool and describe the consequences for not
following the rules. Members from the community, such as fire fighters, police officers, and
doctors, come into the classroom and reveal how they keep the community healthy and safe. All
year long, the students have the opportunity to act as firefighters, doctors and police officers at
the dramatic play center. In addition, teachers explain the importance of the students
responsibilities at home and at preschool. The students have the responsibility of taking care of
the pet hermit crab in the classroom. Teachers describe how taking care of the hermit crab is
similar to taking care of a dog or cat. Students learn to identify solutions to a conflict or
problem, such as sharing a toy. Solutions for attempting to independently solve a conflict with a
peer are also taught. In other lessons, the students demonstrate an awareness of the uses of
money. Teachers show the students the different values of money and give the students pretend
money to play with. Students learn about earning and saving money. In the classroom, the
students are given tokens for good behavior and can use the tokens to buy special prizes. Sharing
items and materials with other students is consistently stressed. Equal distribution of materials is
addressed as well. Other lessons focus on understanding a map and looking at globes. Students
are encouraged to learn and recite their address and phone number. Teachers help the students
describe the location of items and areas in the classroom and at home. To describe the location
of items and areas, directional terms, such as left, right, first, last, top and bottom, are used.
Cultural walls and arts and crafts help demonstrate an appreciation of ones own culture and

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other students cultures. Also, students learn to recognize that environmental changes can impact
what people do. Teachers explain the appropriate clothing to wear during the different seasons.
Finally, students realize how things, people and places change over time. The students learn to
recall information from the immediate past and use terms, such as yesterday and tomorrow,
correctly.

Science
At Shining Stars Preschool, the teachers use many explorative hands-on activities to
teach science to the students. At the beginning of the year, the students learn to recognize the
difference between living and non-living items. The students go on multiple nature walks
outside to find living and non-living items. While on nature walks, the students use their five
senses as tools to observe and collect information. On other days, students go outside to identify
the parts of plants. In the classroom, the students learn that plants and animals have life cycles
through various pictures. Students also identify the parts of a person and draw a picture of a
person. The teachers even talk about similar characteristics students share with their family
members. Students describe patterns inside the classroom and in nature outside. Teachers
explain the different seasons and what clothes students should wear in each season. Also,
students identify changes that occur in animals during the seasons through books and nature
walks. Students consistently discuss observations and discoveries with their classmates and
teachers. Also, students learn to recognize the different types of matters, such as solids, liquids
and gases. Students experiment with the changes in matter by shaking cream in a jar to make
butter and watching ice cubes melt. In other lessons, students use magnets to explore and sort
materials. The students learn to predict what will happen based on previous experiences and ask
and answer questions during the experiments. In the middle of the year, the students identify

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different earth forms, such as hills, mountains and flat lands, in pictures. The students even learn
about rocks, soil and sand and sort the items into specific categories based on their
characteristics. The students learn to identify bodies of water, such as lakes, streams, creeks and
puddles. In addition, the students learn about objects that can be recycled and the purpose of
recycling. Finally, the students identify the purpose of a farm and the animals and equipment
found on a farm.

Comprehensive Arts
At Shining Stars Preschool, the teachers believe that the comprehensive arts, including
art, music and drama, are just as important as science, math, language arts and social studies.
Students learn to play the drums and dance to new music while talking to their classmates. The
teachers love to play different music each week for the student to sing and dance to. By singing
and dancing to the new music, the students are learning to take risks. Students can even change
the words to the songs to express their creativity. In other lessons, the teachers and students
create puppets and put on a puppet show. The students even create various art projects from the
materials in the classroom. Some of the materials the students can use include chalk, paint,
crayons, pencils, markers and play dough. Teachers encourage the students to draw their
emotions in their drawings. Also, teachers ask the students how artwork makes them feel and
what they think of their classmates art projects. The students even have the choice of working at
the music, art or drama center during their free time. At the end of the year, the students even put
on a preschool play for parents and community members to see.

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DAP-Developmentally Appropriate Practice


At Shining Stars Preschool, we, the teachers and staff, pride ourselves on being a
developmentally appropriate center. A developmentally appropriate center enhances the quality
of educational experiences for young children. The teachers at the preschool have knowledge on
how children develop and learn and use that knowledge to create the best curriculum for the
students. The curriculum helps children become life long learners by asking questions, working
with others and thinking creatively. Our preschool even has cooperative learning, an integrated
curriculum, family involvement and hands-on learning. A major theme in developmentally
appropriate practice (DAP) is to make learning meaningful for the children (Bredekamp &
Copple, 1997). We like to have many hands-on activities and technology-based activities to
make learning meaningful for our students. We put a strong emphasis on thinking critically,
working cooperatively and solving problems in all of the lessons.
The first principle of DAP is to recognize that the different domains of childrens
development are closely related. The different domains include physical, social, emotional and
cognitive. The development in one domain direct affects the development in the other domains.
The teachers create the curriculum to help the children develop appropriately in all of their
domains. The second principle of DAP states that development occurs in a relatively orderly
sequence, with later abilities, skills and knowledge building on those already acquired. Students
need to learn how to count objects before adding or subtracting the objects. Also, students need
to recognize letters before they can write their names or read a book. The teachers make sure to
teacher basic skills first so the students can build upon their skills. The third principle of DAP
says that development proceeds at varying rates from child to child as well as unevenly with
different areas of each childs functioning. We, the teachers, realize that the preschool students
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develop at different rates and accommodate the students accordingly. Our main priority is to
help all preschool students succeed at their own pace. The sixth principle of DAP states that
development and learning occur in and are influenced by multiple social and cultural contexts
(Bredekamp & Copple, 1997). We understand that the students look up to their parents and
teachers. Therefore, we are the best role models possible and encourage the students to talk to all
of the teachers. In addition, we realize that some students come from different cultures. We
research the students cultures and talk to the students parents to find out more about their
cultures. At Shining Stars Preschool, we value all cultures and want every student to feel
welcome and comfortable.
The seventh principle of DAP says that children are active learners, drawing on direct
physical and social experience as well as culturally transmitted knowledge to construct their own
understandings of the world around them. We have the students complete many hands-on
activities in science and math because children learn best through being active. The students also
work with their classmates on these activities because students learn from each other. The ninth
principle of DAP states that play is an important vehicle for childrens social, emotional, and
cognitive development, as well as a reflection of their development. We value play because we
believe that children learn new information from playing. While playing, students talk to each
other and explore the world around them. Play allows the students to express themselves.
Therefore, students have forty minutes of free play at the interest centers a day. The eleventh
principle of DAP says that children demonstrate different modes of knowing and learning and
different ways of representing what they know. We teach students information in multiple
methods. For auditory learners, we verbally explain the information. For visual learners, we
have pictures, charts and graphs to explain the information. Also, we have hands-on activities

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for students who learn information better when they are involved in the lesson. Finally, the
twelfth principle of DAP states that children develop and learn best in the context of a
community where they are safe and valued, their physical needs are met, and they feel
psychologically secure. We pride ourselves in having a welcoming classroom for students of all
abilities. The students know that they can talk to the teachers at any time. Shining Stars
Preschool maintains a safe and comfortable environment so the students can thrive and learn. If
the students do not feel safe and their needs are not meet, they are not going to learn. Also, the
preschool provides breakfast, lunch and snack for each child every day. Overall, Shining Stars
Preschool is a proud developmentally appropriate early childhood center.
Shining Stars Preschool also follows the six standards from the National Association for
the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). The first standard states that educators should
promote child development and learning. The teachers promote child development through the
lessons they create and the activities they have the students complete. In addition, the teachers
encourage the students to work and play with each other so the students can develop their social
skills. The second standard says that educators should build family and community
relationships. At Shining Stars Preschool, we believe that the students families help the students
succeed in school. Therefore, we encourage families to come to the school for family celebration
day, family readings and conferences. Community members are also invited to come into the
classroom and talk about their careers. The third standard declares that educators should
observe, document and assess students learning. The teachers at Shining Stars Preschool
observe all students actions throughout the day and write down information, such as when
students correctly follow directions and interact with other students. Also, the teachers observe
the students during each lesson they teach. After class each day, the teachers look at their notes

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and see what changes they need to make in their lessons to help students succeed with their
developmental skills. The fourth standard states that educators use developmentally effective
approaches to connect with children and families. All of the teachers will build positive
relationships with students and parents through family events such as reading night and carnival
night. The fifth standard expresses that educators use content knowledge to build meaningful
curriculum. The teachers utilize the PA standards to create the curriculum that they teach to the
students. Life skills and academic skills are included into the curriculum for the students to
learn. The sixth and last standard exclaims that educators are professionals and should act like
professionals. All of the teachers at Shining Star Preschool will be kind and caring and act like a
professional at all times.

Developmental Needs of Pre-School Students


All pre-kindergarten students need to develop skills in their social/emotional domains,
physical domains and cognitive domains. The teachers realize that students need to strengthen
their physical skills by going outside whenever possible. When the teachers and students go
outside, the teachers work with the students on their jumping and kicking skills. Inside, the
teachers even have the students dance and shake their bodies to many different songs. The
teachers work with the students on their fine motor skills, including holding a pencil and
pinching small objects. Also, the students develop their fine motor skills by threading small
wooden beads on a string and holding a paintbrush to paint a portrait. Students need to expand
and strengthen their motor skills at a young age so they can use their skills in the future. The
teachers help the students develop their social and emotional skills by teaching students how to
share toys and objects. Students even start to hold conversations with others. Therefore, the
teachers encourage and hold conversations with all students. At a young age, the students are
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developing self-esteem. The teachers will help the students establish their self-esteem by talking
to them and encouraging them when they correctly complete a task. Finally, the students need to
develop and strengthen their cognitive skills. The teachers help the students expand their
cognitive skills by reading stories to the students and asking questions about the stories. The
students are given many materials, such as markers, crayons, paintbrushes and blocks, to
strengthen their creativity and spatial skills. Also, the teachers help the students recognize their
numbers, letters and shapes through out the day. The students even learn how to reproduce some
letters and write their names. Overall, Shining Stars Preschool helps all students develop skills
in their emotional/social domains, physical domains and cognitive domains that they will use for
the rest of their lives.

Parent Involvement
At Shining Stars Preschool, we, the teachers, believe that parent and guardian
involvement is important to the success of children in school. Parents or guardians are a childs
first teachers and know what their children need. Therefore, parents help teachers understand
their children. Also, children learn knowledge through their parents to grow and thrive at home
and at school. Our preschool would not run without the help and support of parents and
guardians. At Shining Stars Preschool, we know that all families are different. We want to learn
information about each family. At the beginning of the year, a parent/guardian and child
questionnaire is sent home to better understand each family. By understanding what a child does
at home, the teachers can help the child feel comfortable and safe at preschool. In addition,
parents/guardians relay important information on why their child displays different behaviors in
preschool. At home, parents/guardians see their children behave differently to multiple
situations. Parents/guardians can relay that information to the teachers so they know why a child
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behaves a certain way during preschool. Every month, the preschool has a parent/guardian
meeting where the teachers discuss what the children are learning and what they will learn in
preschool. The teachers also explain the different events going on at the preschool and in the
community. At the meetings, parents/guardians are encouraged to voice any questions or
concerns they have about their children. In addition, teachers share valuable resources, such as
educational journals and websites, for parents to look at during the meetings. Some great
journals for parents to read include Young Children and Teaching Young Children. Parents are a
vital resource for their children and help their children build good reading skills. To encourage
good reading skills, the preschool holds Book It Night. Book It Night is held every month for
parents/guardians to talk about the books they have been reading with their children.
Parents/guardians bring back the books that they have already read with their children and
exchange the books with other parents/guardians. Each family takes home two new books every
month! Since families are a vital resource, it is very important for the teachers to keep
parents/guardians informed about what their children are learning in the classroom. Each month
an electronic newsletter and a paper newsletter are sent home to each family. Also, the website,
www.shiningstarspreschool.com, will have updated information on what lessons and activities
are occurring at the preschool. Parents/guardians are very special people and the preschool
wants them to feel special. The teachers ask parents/guardians to come to the preschool and read
their favorite book, talk about their culture or talk about their career. Parents/guardians are even
invited to go on the preschool field trips to the farm, zoo, museum and science center. Overall,
parents/guardians are very influential in the lives of children! Consequently, we hold a
parent/guardians party at the end of the year for the parents/guardians and children to celebrate
the year. Shining Stars Preschool wants parents/guardians to know that they can contact the

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teachers at any time through e-mail, phone calls or meetings about any questions or concerns
they have. Please review the appendix for sample parent/guardian invitations and letters.

Family Involvement
Not only do parents influence the development of children; families also influence the
development of children. Family can include a childs parents, brothers, sisters, grand parents,
aunts, uncles and cousins. A childs family members teach the child important knowledge and
skills, just as the childs parents or guardians do. All families teach children special traditions,
family values and cultural practices. At Shining Stars Preschool, all of the teachers realize how
important families are to children. Therefore, the preschool invites the students family members
to come into the classroom and talk about their cultural practices. Each week the preschool
celebrates a different culture and invites family members to come into the preschool and explain
their cultures. Every day at the preschool, all of the teachers strive to explain the importance of
accepting others. Throughout the year, the preschool has many different activities for families to
get to know one another. Around Thanksgiving, the preschool has a diversity feast where
parents/guardians and students make their favorite cultural dishes and share them at the feast.
All parents/guardians and students are able to try foods from different cultures at the diversity
feast. At the end of the year, the preschool has a carnival for the families to celebrate preschool
and get ready for kindergarten together. Overall, families are an important influence on the lives
of children. The preschool values families and likes to maintain good connections with all
families. If any family members have any suggestions, concerns or questions, they can contact
the preschool at any time through phone calls, e-mails or meetings.

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Technology
In todays society, technology is more important than ever. Technology is evident in
every aspect of life. At Shining Stars Preschool, all of the teachers realize the importance of
technology and include technology into their lessons. In the preschool, each student has an iPad
to use. The iPads have educational apps that aid the students learning in the classroom and at
home. A list of fun and educational apps is sent home at the beginning of the year. Through out
the year, the monthly newsletters provide more apps that students can play at home. In addition,
the preschools website, www.shiningstarspreschool.com, has a list of various educational and
free apps for students to download and play. The preschool welcomes parents, students and
families to check out the website. The website has the preschools philosophy, teachers contact
information, electronic newsletters and lessons the students complete each week. Lists of
community events and special celebrations, such as birthdays and perfect attendance, are on the
website for families to view. Pictures of the students doing lessons and activities appear on the
website. Also, the website has many web 2 applications that the students can use at home with
their parents. At preschool, the students utilize many different educational websites. Some of
the websites include pbskids.org, jumpstart.com, funbrain.com and starfall.com. The students
play math games, science games and reading games on these websites. Some of the websites
have videos explaining science experiments to the students or reading books to the students. At
home, parents and students can easily access these websites to learn about science, math and
reading together. Other websites, such as healthykids.org and dancingcarrots.org, have healthy
snack ideas that parents and students can make together. Overall, technology is very important
in todays society and can help students and parents complete educational games and activities
together.
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Children with Special Needs


At Shining Stars Preschool, all students are welcome and treated equally. The policy for
children with special needs states that all children will receive the help they need to succeed in
the preschool. Families of children with special needs are consulted for what accommodations
and modifications help their children at home. After talking to the families, the teachers acquire
the appropriate accommodations and modifications for the children. After the teachers implement
the appropriate accommodations and modifications into the classroom, the teachers observe how
the students are doing with the accommodations. Every day, the teachers document how the
students use the accommodations and modifications. If the student does not benefit from the
accommodations and modifications, the teachers will find different accommodations and
modifications to help the student. In addition, the teachers will modify the lessons to each
students needs. After every lesson, the teachers evaluate how well they modified the lessons for
the students with special needs. The teachers are consistently evaluating and modifying the
lessons to help the students succeed in the classroom. Each month families of children with
special needs have a conference with the teachers. At the conferences, the teachers discuss how
the accommodations and modifications are helping the children. The teachers ask families about
any new accommodations or modifications that the children utilize at home. The families
discuss any problems, concerns or questions they have about their childs learning or behavior in
preschool. At Shining Stars Preschool, all students are welcome and given the best learning
experience. The teachers continuously work with the students families to give the students the
best learning experience in the classroom.
At Shining Stars Preschool, all of the teachers have intervention strategies for students
with special needs. All students with special needs have accommodations and modifications to
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help them succeed in the classroom. In addition, Shining Stars Preschool has nurses,
psychologists and therapists to aid the students with special needs. Each day, the physical
therapist works with students who need help strengthening their gross motor skills, such as
walking and kicking. Also, the occupational therapist works with students who need help
strengthening their fine motor skills, such as holding a pencil and pinching an object. A
psychologist is available for all students to talk to throughout the day. The nurse, therapists and
psychologist work with the students throughout the day during the lessons and free play
activities. If the children are under three years of age, the preschool helps the students and
families receive an individualized family service plan. If the children are three years of age and
over, the preschool helps the students and families receive an individualized education plan. The
preschool follows the individualized education plan and helps parents understand what their
child receives in the plan. In addition, the preschool has low tables and open spaces for all
students to get around inside the classroom. Outside, the preschool has ramps, curb cuts and
blacktop for all students to get around. At Shining Stars Preschool, all students with special
needs are treated equally and receive intervention strategies throughout the day.
To make all students feel comfortable in the classroom, the teachers read many different
books about inclusion. At least once a week during story time, the teachers read a story about
inclusion in the classroom. The teachers read the books My Brother Charlie and Just Because at
the beginning of school. The book, My Brother Charlie, talks about the life of a child with a
sibling who has autism. This book teaches students about accepting students who have autism.
Another book, Just Because, talks about a young boys sister who has multiple disabilities. The
book teaches the students what different activities children with multiple disabilities can do.
Other books the teachers read to the students include Wendy on Wheels, Russ and the Almost

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Perfect Day, Seal Surfer, Are We There Yet?, Mandy Sue Day, Big Brother Dustin and Well Paint
the Octopus Red. All of these books help students understand that some students have
disabilities but they are just like anyone else. In addition, the teachers at Shining Stars Preschool
provide resources to all parents. Parents with children who have special needs are given many
different educational journals and websites to look at. The Exceptional Children Journal is a
valuable resource for parents to read and gain information from. Teaching Young Children is
another valuable journal for parents to read. Some wonderful websites that support families with
children who have disabilities include familyvoices.org, nayec.org, fcsn.org, specialchild.com,
familyconnect.org and allkindsofminds.org. Other helpful websites include dec-sped.org,
lookingglass.org and childrenwithspecialneeds.org. Some helpful books for parents with
children who have disabilities include Touching the Halo, Theres an Elephant in the Playroom,
Life as We Know It and Expecting Adam. Overall, Shining Stars Preschool provides resources
for students and parents to learn more information about inclusion and students with disabilities.

Appendix
The following section has multiple forms for parents/guardians to fill out so the preschool
knows more about their children. Also, parents/guardians will find the preschools daily
schedule in this section.

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Getting to Know Your Child


1. What is your childs name?
2. How old is your child?
3. What is your childs birth date?
4. Does your child have any medical conditions? If so, what is
the medical condition?
5. What is your childs favorite toy?
6. What is your childs favorite book?
7. What is your childs favorite hobby?
8. What motivates your child?
9. What upsets your child?
10. How would you describe your childs personality?

11. Is there any other information that you feel would help me
understand or work with your child better?

Signature:

Date:

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Parent/Guardian Contact Information


Parent(s)/Guardian(s) Name(s):

Childs Name:
Primary Address:

Home Phone Number:


Cell Phone Number:
Work Phone Number:
E-mail Address:
Emergency Contact Person (in addition to parents):
Name:
Home Phone Number:
Cell Phone Number:
Relationship to Child:

Signature:

Date:

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Allergy Information
Name of Child:
Age of Child:
Allergies:
Information on Allergies:

Instructions for Daily Care:

Instructions in Case of an Emergency:

Signature:

Date:

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Medication Form
Name of Child:
Age of Child:

Date of Birth:

Does your child take any medication?


What medication does your child take?

What is the dosage to be administered?

At what time does each dosage need to be administered?

Name of Physician Administering the Medication:

Address of Physician:

Phone Number of Physician:


Parent/Guardian Signature:

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Date:

Arrival/Departure Form
Name of Child:
Childs Date of Birth:
Parent/Guardian Name:
Name of Person(s) Other than Parent/Guardian Allowed to Pick up
Your Child:
Relationship to Child:
Phone Number:
For people other than parents/guardians picking up a child, the
preschool staff will ask for a government issued id before
releasing the child. Appropriate government issued id include
drivers licenses and passports.

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Parent/Guardian Signature:
Date:

We Need Your Help!


We love volunteers at our preschool! If you are interested in
helping, please fill out this form below.
Name:
Phone Number:
E-mail:
Childs Name:
I would love to help with: (please check all that apply)
Making Copies
Planning Class Parties

Laminating and Cutting


Reading with Students

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I cannot come to the preschool, but I can help from home.


Please send things home for me to do.
When are you available? (Please Circle)
M

TH

In the: Morning

Afternoon
Comments:

Signature:
Thank You!!

Photo Release Form


Shining Stars Preschool takes a lot of pictures to illustrate what
the children are doing at preschool. The pictures we take will be
used in many different ways. The pictures may be included in
your childs portfolio or displayed in the preschool classroom.
Please complete this form so we know you want or do not want
your childs picture taken.
Please fill out the following:
Childs Name:
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I give permission to Shining Stars Preschool to take photos


of my child.
I do Not give permission to Shining Stars Preschool to take
photos of my child.
I understand that these photographs will not be sold, distributed
or placed on Internet web sites without my written permission.
Parent/Guardian Signature:
Date:

Field Trip Permission Form


I give permission for my child,
attend a field trip to

, to
on
. The children will

ride in a mini bus provided by Colborn Bus Lines. We will arrive at


the preschool a half hour before pick up time.

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I do Not give permission for my child to attend the field trip.

Parent/Guardian Signature:
Date:

Shining Stars Preschool Schedule


7:45 a.m.-8:30 a.m. Arrival/Greeting
8:30 a.m.-9:00 a.m. Breakfast
9:00 a.m.-9:30 a.m. Morning Circle (Weather, Calendar and
Dance)

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9:30 a.m.-10:00 a.m. Math


10:00 a.m. -10:30 a.m. Science
10:30 a.m.-11:00 a.m. Interest Centers
11:00 a.m. -11:30 a.m. Language Arts
11:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Comprehensive Arts
12:00 p.m.-12:30 p.m. Lunch
12:30 p.m.-1:00 p.m. Outside Time/Indoor Time
1:00 p.m.-2:30 p.m. Nap Time
2:30 p.m.-3:00 p.m. Social Studies
3:00 p.m.-3:30 p.m. Snack Time
3:30 p.m.-4:00 p.m. Story Time
4:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m. Pick up Time and Interest Centers

References
Bredekamp, S., & Copple, C. (1997). Developmentally appropriate practice in early childhood
programs. (Revised ed.). Washington, D.C.: National Association for the Education of
Young Children.

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Feeney, S., Moravcik, E., & Nolte, S. (2013). Who am I in the lives of children? An introduction
to early childhood education. (9th ed., pp. 86-87). New York, NY: Pearson Education,
Inc.

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