Parent Handbook

Admissions

Admissions: When making admissions decisions, the Director and the Parent Admissions Coordinator consider a number of factors, including scheduling, co-oping hours, gender balance, whether the child is a sibling of a current or alumni family, and our goal to reflect our diverse community. ALG admits students of any race, color, national or ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to students of the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in the administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship programs and any other school-administered program.

Students are admitted whenever space is available, though the vast majority of children are admitted in the spring to matriculate at ALG the following September.

Prospective students and their parents are invited to visit ALG, play along with the children, meet the teachers, and contact parents of enrolled children. Tours begin in October of every school year. To schedule a tour, contact the director of the program or the Steering Committee Admissions Coordinator. Tour dates are listed on our website beginning in late September.

After your visit, if you think ALG would be a good match for your child, fill out and submit an Admissions Application to the school (available as a Microsoft Word document or PDF document on the website) along with a one-time, non-refundable, $50 fee. Fall admission decisions begin in March and continue as space permits. All applications should be received by February 1st for consideration for attendance in the next academic year.

Once your child has been admitted to ALG, a $500 membership fee per child is required to secure a spot for your child in the next school year. This membership fee is non returnable if your child does not complete the following school year. The fee is returned to families the last month of school, unless parents of returning children opt to roll it over for the following year.

Waitlist: ALG keeps a waitlist each year. As openings occur, ALG will contact people on the waitlist to determine interest in the program. Preference will be given to families whose schedule best fits the current openings/availability at the school. The waitlist is not carried over year to year. Each year, a new application has to be submitted, unless your child was not going to be 2.5 years by September of the year you applied. In that case, your application will be rolled over for another year of consideration. (For example, you apply in February for an opening in the fall, but your child won’t be age eligible until November; your application will remain on the waitlist for the following fall).

Returning Families: All current families are required to indicate whether their child will be returning in the fall no later than March 15th, by signing a tuition commitment form and rolling over their membership fee to the next school year. The membership fee is non refundable if you choose not to attend, or withdraw for any reason before the end of the next school year.

Program Information

Attendance: Our morning “circle time” begins promptly at 9:00am. Parents are welcome to attend, but are not required to do so; however, circle-time is an important introduction to the day for the children. Please arrive at ALG in time for your child(ren) to stow their gear and join the Circle as it begins.

If a late arrival is needed, parents should notify the school in advance. Please notify the school by phone or email to report a child’s absence. A written reminder should be sent whenever a new person is picking up your child or early dismissal is needed.

Classroom Visitation: Parents are always welcome at ALG. We encourage all parents to visit during the year, and we welcome ideas to involve different family or cultural traditions, skills or knowledge into our program. Please speak to the Program Director if you have any ideas. Parents, however, may not use the school for routine visitation with their children. When an ALG child is involved in a child-custody case, ALG will follow the dictate of the court.

Community Building Events: ALG hosts several events during the year to help families get to know one another. Specific dates change slightly each year and will be included in the school calendar, on the website and holiday list. The events include:

  • Fall Back to School Night
  • Family Fun Day
  • Saturday Playdate
  • Thanksgiving Celebration
  • Winter All-Parent Meeting
  • Spring Auction
  • Special Programs (2/year based on parent interest)
  • End of year picnic

Daily Schedule: Every child is assigned to a group (by color) at the beginning of the school year. Children move with their groups throughout the daily schedule (see attachment B for a sample Schedule). Children have multiple occasions to interact with children from other groups during the day. Group assignments may change during the year based on the needs of individuals and group dynamics. The staff will inform children and parents of these changes before they occur.

Dress: Please dress children appropriately for the weather and outdoor activities every day (e.g. play clothes). Children still enjoy outside play in the winter or on days that are overcast or wet – please be sure to send them with weather-appropriate clothing (snow gloves, boots, snow pants or snow-suit, rain boots, hats, etc) and in clothes that can get wet/dirty. Children should be dressed in clothes that they are able to get on and off by themselves or with minimal assistance. Children should always have a full, seasonally-appropriate change of clothes and shoes in their cubby.

Children may NOT wear fancy shoes to school or shoes with open toes. Also, while we welcome children to come to school wearing dress up clothes, any child coming to school in clothes which will hinder their ability to fully participate in physical activities will be asked to change before we go outside.

Field Trips: The class takes trips to museums, parks, playgrounds and other places throughout the year. Parents are notified of field trips by email and via postings on the bulletin board and must sign a permission slip for their child to participate. There is an annual activity fee of $75 that is assessed per child to cover all costs related to field trips and some special programming. On fieldtrip days, parents and are given the cell phone number of one of the staff in case of emergencies. Since fieldtrips are such an important part of our curriculum, ALG strongly encourages each family to chaperone one field trip a year (you can be creative and invite a grandparent, visiting aunt/uncle, child care provider, etc). Walking field trips are covered by a once a year walking field trip permission slip.

In order to ensure the safety and well being of children at ALG on field trips, the following rules will apply:

  • Every child must have a permission slip signed prior to the day of the field trip.  Permission slips will be available at school near the sign-in sheet and a blank form is available on the ALG website under the Parents Page/forms.
  • There must be one adult to every three/four children going on the fieldtrip, this includes ALG staff, co-opers, and chaperones.
  • If the fieldtrip occurs on a day that your child does not typically attend ALG, your child is still welcome to come on the field trip if an adult accompanies him/her.  Please notify the director or program director if you plan on attending, to plan for adequate transportation.
  • If your child’s color group is not scheduled to go on the day he/she is in school, but another group is scheduled to go that day, your child can attend with the other group if permission is cleared with the director or program director prior to the event.  This will help ensure that there are enough adults chaperoning the day of the event.
  • Children should dress in comfortable clothes:  weather appropriate (hats, gloves, coats, raingear).
  • Children should bring lunches that have small snacks that they can eat before leaving the school.
  • All children will wear a sticker with the school name, phone number, and the cell number of a staff member in case they get lost/separated from the group.
  • If the field trip requires driving, parents are expected to bring and install a carseat for their child/children the day of the fieldtrip.

Chaperones are expected to:

  • Arrive by circle time so they can meet and greet the children they are responsible for that day.
  • Ensure children in their care are following directions, holding hands, and answering roll calls.
  • SmartTrip will be provided by ALG if the fieldtrip requires public transportation.

Fostering Independence: An important part of ALG’s values and goals is to encourage children to become independent and self reliant. As such, we require all children to walk into and leave ALG on their own two feet; to carry their own lunchboxes and personal belongings; and place their things in their cubby or on their own hooks. Please support these values by having your child take care of these tasks on his/her own.

Holidays and Vacations: Each year a list of dates is given to families by September 15. ALG generally follows the DC Public Schools’ calendar, although winter breaks may differ slightly. ALG staff may run separate camps during holidays and summer vacation, depending on both family and staff interest.

Lunch: Parents must send their child(ren) to ALG with a lunchbox filled with healthy and nutritious food. Children will have access to their lunch all day, and eat when they are hungry at the lunch tables. Twice a day all children will be invited to bring their lunch boxes and eat together. Each child is responsible for opening and packing up his/her lunchbox (teachers will assist children with containers or bags they haven’t yet ‘mastered’).

ALG has a strong “no dessert” policy, and will return any food that violates this policy (e.g., cookies, fig newtons, granola bars, yogurt-covered raisins, etc). Please send food packaged in easy-to-access containers without artificial flavoring/coloring, that are low in salt and contain little to no sugar, high fructose corn syrup, etc. Please use thermoses to pack milk, soy/ricemilk or water (no juice please) and yogurt containers with plastic tops that can be closed and kept in the lunchbox with an ice pack. “A small amount of several items [of food]” suits preschool children well. Children have access to fresh water all day, and we ask that each child bring a water bottle from home which can be refilled.

When any child in the school has a food allergy, we work with that family to develop a safety plan. For severe or airborne allergies, we may ask families not to send a particular food to school at all. Parents will be notified early in the school year of any food allergies.

Naps: Naptime is determined each year based on the needs of the children. Naps will  occur between 1:30 to 3:00pm. Parents whose children attend aftercare should discuss their child’s napping routine with the director or program director. All families whose children nap at ALG are asked to bring in pillows, sheets and blankets that will be returned weekly to be washed. ALG provides cots for all children who nap.

Parent Classroom Assistance: From time to time, the school looks to the parents for assistance with classroom activities outside of the co-oping responsibilities. The most common need is for parents to drive on field trips or assist staff in the classroom as a substitute teacher. Drivers are requested via email or the listserve. Each year an appropriate substitute list is formed in consultation with the Steering Committee.

Parent Communication: Parents are encouraged to confer frequently with the staff in several different ways (listed below). Please maintain regular and timely communication with teachers about any issues that emerge.

  • Staff: Staff members are available to discuss the events of the day at pick-up time. When special issues emerge, if you have program ideas, or needs/concerns that you would like to discuss, please speak to the school’s director or program director (by phone, email, or in person).
  • Bulletin Board: The bulletin board is to the right of the front entrance and is used to post upcoming events and current information on any program changes.
  • Conferences: The staff schedules at least two lengthy parent conferences with each family annually, once in the fall and once in the spring. Parents or staff may request more as needed.
  • Parent Meetings: All-school meetings in the fall and spring provide an opportunity to talk with other parents and staff. There is a strong effort to establish an ongoing dialogue between parents and staff concerning each child’s growth and development.
  • Co-op Workshops: co-oping parents are required to come to a co-oping workshop early in the school year; all participating families are required to send a representative. There is also a Saturday Playdate that is held in November that is encouraged for co-oping parents to attend.
  • Steering Committee: The parent-led Steering Committee meets monthly at the school. The dates are posted on the web-calendar each semester. All parents are welcome to attend any meeting. Each ALG family is encouraged to send a representative to at least one meeting each year. If you have issues, ideas or questions you’d like to bring up with the steering committee, you can call the Steering Committee president, contact the director, or a parent member of the Steering Committee individually (See attachments for list of current Steering Committee Representatives).
  • Web & Listserve: The primary means of communicating with parents about general issues, field trips, monthly themes and upcoming events are through the email list (amazinglifegames@yahoogroups.com) and the web site (www.amazinglifegames.org). All families should have at least one parent/guardian on the email list. Families are automatically invited to the list annually. If you want to add someone to the list, or update/change an email, please contact the Steering Committee Secretary/Webmaster.The ALG website will have the most recent roster, calendar, and co-op schedule available on the Parents’ Page. Contact the Steering Committee Secretary/Webmaster for the username and password to the Parent’s Page (see Attachment E for current contact information of the ALG Steering Committee).

Resource Programs: Four to five resource teachers work with the children once a week from October to April in special areas. These sessions each last 30 minutes to one hour. Sessions may include things such as creative play, music, yoga, and capoeira. Resource teacher’s days will be posted on the web calendar each semester.

School Hours: ALG’s hours are Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM. Families select either a 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM or 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM schedule. Students should not arrive before 8:45 AM, unless they are with their co-oping parent. Extended day hours are from 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM. There is no private use of the school property outside of the normal school hours without prior approval from the director.

Storage: Each child will be assigned a cubby, coat hook, and art file in September. Children are expected to keep a change of clothes and their lunch boxes in their cubby. Their coats, boots, and backpacks should be hung on their coat hook. The art file is located above the cubbies and will contain all school correspondence and child artwork.

Toys: Children are not permitted to bring toys from home into the school. Security items (“loveys”) are permitted, but generally stay in each child’s cubby until nap time or when a snuggle is needed to soothe.

Weather: ALG follows the DC Public Schools’ decisions for weather-related closing and delays. Closings information can be found on the washingtonpost.com website, at http://dcps.dc.gov, or by listening to local radio stations for weather-related closings and delays. The nbc4dc.com website has a convenient email service that will notify you as soon as DCPS has made a decision.

Fundraisers

ALG is a 501-C(3) non profit organization and relies on charitable contributions to run its program and to offer scholarships to families in need. ALG hosts two fundraisers in the course of the school year, Family Fun Day (in the fall) and the ALG Auction (in the spring). The days for these events are set on the calendar at the outset of the year and participation is expected of all ALG families.

Family Fun Day: Family Fun Day is a day for current, prospective, and alumni families to gather at the school and enjoy a day of games, activities, and merriment. Families pay a nominal fee per attendee and are able to purchase t-shirts, drinks, and other ALG trinkets to contribute to the fundraising efforts. All current families are expected to volunteer their time and attend Family Fun Day.

Annual Auction: The Auction is the school’s principal fundraising event, and its primary source of scholarship funds and means for capital expenses. It is led by a group of volunteers from the current class. In addition, each family is expected to solicit or donate goods or services and is likewise asked to spend that amount at the auction (The school maintains a list of businesses that have donated in the past to help with this effort). Families who are unable to meet this financial requirement are encouraged to discuss with the director other ways of contributing to the effort.

Safety & Health

Maintaining Safety and Health: The school has several policies designed to keep the classroom environment safe and healthy. Parents are requested to support the children and the staff in these measures:

Safety

  • Background Checks: All ALG staff and co-opers are required to pass a one-time background check to ensure the safety of children enrolled in the program.
  • Car Seats: Children are required to sit in car or booster seats on all field trips, planned or spontaneous. Parents are required to provide and install an appropriate car seat for each trip.
  • Emergency Preparedness Plan: By law, ALG is required to have food and water on site to last three days, as well as blankets and spare clothing. If a life-threatening emergency occurs that requires staff to evacuate the building, all children will be transported by bus to Northwest Community Church, 4100 16th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20011. Phone (202) 829-4223.
  • Fire Safety: The school practices a fire drill monthly. A Fire Plan, approved by the DC Fire Department, is posted on the bulletin board and the school is inspected annually. A special fire plan is in place for children with disabilities or special needs.
  • Leaving ALG for Trips to the Park and Fieldtrips: Roll is taken using the daily roster when the group leaves ALG and when it returns. Each adult (teachers and co-opers) is assigned a group of no more than three-four children while away from ALG grounds. Each adult is responsible for ensuring their assigned group of children makes it safely to and from the destination. They are also responsible for periodically checking on the members of their group throughout the trip. This must be done, even if the group of children has scattered (e.g. at a playground). Roll is ALWAYS taken before re-entering the school after a trip is over.
  • Photo Use of Child: ALG Staff regularly takes pictures of the children during the day to help capture moments of discovery and learning. These pictures are regularly posted via an invitation only yahoogroups listserve. Parents are asked to sign a one time photo use agreement for ALG to use images of their child engaged in learning on promotional, marketing, or professional development materials. Parents are not required to sign this agreement, and can opt not to have their child’s image posted on the website or on the secure portions of the site.
  • Security within the Building: The entrance to the school is accessible by code/fob key by current families.Anyone else needing access to the school must call or ring the door bell. Children may only go to the back area of the classroom and courtyard with a teacher. Children must inform a grown up when they are going to use the bathroom. Children are not permitted in the front entrance area of the school unless they are being picked up and are accompanied by a grown up. There are chimes that alert teachers if there is a child in the door area and the chimes must be active at all times during the school day.
  • Signing In: Please sign your child in and out of school every day and call or email the school by 9:30 AM when your child is going to be absent or late. The assistant director/director use the roster to periodically take a roll call throughout the day so it is important that it is accurate. If you are having someone new pick your child up, parents must notify the director and the person must have a picture ID for staff to release the child to the caregiver.

Health

A child should be kept home for the day when:

  • Allergies: If a child has a food allergy, ALG will work with the family to make sure the environment is safe for their child. Parents of other children may be asked to avoid bringing specific foods into the school.
  • Appropriate Touch: While it is developmentally appropriate for children to explore their bodies, while at school, the following limits will be set on exploration: nudity and sexual play in public are not allowed, no other person, including close friends/teachers/co-opers may touch private parts (excluding co-opers who are changing diapers).
  • Biting: Biting is taken seriously at ALG, due to the nature of health issues that can arise if skin is broken by a bite. If a child bites, they will be spoken to by a staff member and the parents of the biting and bitten child will be promptly informed of the incident. If it happens again, a parent conference with the child may be requested, and a plan of action will be formulated to keep all children safe while at school.
  • Diapers: Each month, parents of diaper-wearers must bring in the number of diapers their child is likely to need for the month, plus a box of diaper wipes. All brands of diapers are shared (which is not to say children share diapers!), so don’t be surprised if your child comes home in a brand other than the one you normally use. Put your diaper contribution in the shelves of the cart near the bathroom.
  • Food Sharing: There is a certified food specialist on staff to ensure food that we make on site is safe and healthy. Food can be shared by breaking off a piece or cutting a slice that has not been eaten yet. Mouth to mouth sharing of food is strongly discouraged. Please clearly label your child’s sippy cups, lunchbox and food containers.
  • Hand washing: Children are required to wash their hands before eating, after using the toilet, and after playing outside.
  • Lice: Children are checked for lice periodically. If lice are found, the child must go home immediately and remain home until treatment is administered and all lice are removed. When lice are found on one child, all children are checked daily until everyone is lice-free for one week. After this time, heads are checked twice a week for two weeks. Parents must remain each morning until their child is checked for lice.
  • Medical Check Ups: Each full and part-time staff person, co-oping parents, and all students are required to have an annual check-up specifically addressing immunity to, and absence of, communicable and vaccine-preventable diseases. A bi-annual TB test is also required for staff and co-opers. All necessary DC Health Forms can be found under the “School Forms” section of the website.
  • Sick Child: If a child becomes sick during the school day, parents are called and requested to pick up the child immediately. If your child is sick with a communicable disease, we ask that you notify the school director, so she can take necessary precautions to reduce the risk of exposure to other staff/children.
    • An infectious disease is present (e.g. strep, conjunctivitis, pinworm, lice). Colds require flexibility and individual determination.
    • A child has diarrhea or vomiting and for 24 hours after.
    • A child has a fever above 100 degrees or lower with lethargy, and for 24 hours after.
    • A child has low energy as a result of a cold or ear infection.
    • Children should be able to participate in all school activities. If they are too sick to go outside, they should stay home.
    • Medications: The staff will not administer any medications to children. The exception to this is an epi-pen for children who require immediate responses to an allergic reaction (current prescribed medication must be in the ALG office).
    • Medical Forms: The following forms must be completed and returned by the first day of school. Any child who has a birthday during the school year must have an updated DC Health Certificate with the updated vaccination/physical information. Forms are available from the school website under the “forms” section:
      • DC Health Certificate for Child*
      • DC Oral Health Certificate for Child (annual for each child 3 years+)
      • Emergency Medical Authorization Form
      • DC Registration record for child receiving care away from home
      • Developmental Health History
      • Employee Health Information (for Co-opers)
      • DC Heath Certificate for Adult (for Co-opers)
    • Medical Emergency: The director, full-time, and part-time staff are certified in First Aid and CPR. First aid is given, as needed, by the staff. If further medical attention is needed or the child wants to be with a parent for special comfort, the parents are called. Whenever an injury to the head occurs, regardless of severity, parents are called. In the event of a medical emergency, one staff member will stay with the injured or sick child; another staff person will remain with the group.
    • Spare Clothes: Messes and bad weather happen, so each child should have a spare set of clothes and shoes in their cubby or in a bag on their hook. Be sure to update clothes/shoes as seasons change. Please label all clothing items.
    • Sunscreen & Bug Spray: Children who attend ALG will be outside frequently. Please put sunscreen and bug spray on your child in the morning before school, and leave labeled tubes/sprays in their cubby for re-application. ALG sprays the sideyard with an organic, environment-friendly garlic spray that reduces mosquitoes.
Summer Camp

Every summer, ALG offers a summer camp for students ages 3-8 years old at its pre-school. Summer Camp is led by a great team of professionals including a core group of ALG pre-school teachers who emphasize creative play during the school year and some visiting camp instructors who specialize in theater, music and guided creative play. Sessions are each 2-weeks long and run from 9:00am to 3:00pm. All campers must be potty trained to attend.

Each session is based on an individual theme (e.g. Flying, Mythical Creatures, Outer Space, Pioneer Days, Waterplay, etc) and includes pool time, outdoor activities and at least one field trip. Interested campers must fill out an application (posted on the ALG website), and pay for the session in full to be admitted.

Applications are posted in February or March each year, and preference is given to current ALG students, siblings and alumni. There is room for 30 campers/day.

Co-oping

LG is a co-operative pre-school. Parents play a critical role in supporting the school’s mission and day-to-day operation and program. Not only do co-opers help the staff keep the children safe and secure, they bring energy, ideas and creativity into the classroom.

In the early months of school, ALG will host two required training sessions for all parents and staff. The first training will provide an overview of ALG’s history and educational philosophy and focus on the school’s safety policies (Back to School Night). The second session is a co-oper training in mid October that is designed to help co-opers that work in the classroom understand and improve their confidence in their role (Co-op Training). All co-opers must attend (even those who are returning to ALG).

In addition, there will be a session designed to explore the power of play in building children’s emotional, social and cognitive development, and will take place on a Saturday in November (Saturday Playdate). All parents are encouraged to attend this meeting as well. Dates for these training sessions are posted on the ALG calendar on the website.

Co-oping parents will also be encouraged to sign up for a 30 minute session with child-play experts Pickett Craddock and/or Oran Sandel every fall. These experts will help you identify ways to encourage child development through play.

Finally, there are two co-opers assigned to each school day. During the first month of co-oping, the co-oping Coordinator does her/his best to match a returning co-oper with a new co-oper to show the new families the “ropes”. Teachers are also a great resource to get any questions answered.

The CO-OP Day

Co-oping in the classroom is the most common way that parents earn co-op credit and participate in ALG’s community life. Returning parents, the .

Please understand that co-oping is a job. You must be involved, yet flexible in working with the children. You must be alert, yet sensitive in reacting to the classroom rhythms. With your assistance, the teachers can facilitate enjoyable and educational play. In short, co-opers develop an awareness of the children’s needs and respond appropriately.

co-oper Roles and Responsibilities:

  • Co-op responsibilities are in addition to the other family responsibilities listed above (e.g., attending co-op trainings). Also, families may be required to do more if low enrollment or other unforeseen events require it. This is a cooperative pre-school, so general pitching in as needed is expected.
  • co-opers must get an annual health form completed by a physician and a TB test every other year. In addition, all co-opers will need to pass a criminal background check. There is a one-time $11 fee for this service.
  • co-opers must arrive at the classroom by 8:30 AM on the day they teach because of preparation and chores that must be completed before the school day begins. The co-op shift ends at 1:30 PM.To receive co-op credit, co-opers must fulfill the full 5 hour period.
  • The co-oping chore list for each day is posted on the school bulletin board. In addition, co-opers help with a lot of the “dirty-work” of running the pre-school. This includes, but is not limited to, diaper changing, disinfecting surfaces, helping children dress for outdoors,  floor cleaning and trash removal. Co-opers also draft the daily blog post.
  • Co-opers play a critical role in the ALG day. If a parent is unable to cover a co-op shift that he/she is scheduled for, then that parent is responsible for finding a replacement, preferably by swapping days with another ALG parent co-oper. The listserv is a great way to identify potential parents to help fill in, but often individual phone calls are required. If a co-oper swap can not happen, the scheduled parent will have to work with the director to find a substitute teacher, which generally runs $15/hour. The costs of the substitute are passed onto the co-oping parent that was scheduled that day.
  • If you are scheduled to co-op a day that ALG is closed for unexpected circumstances e.g., snow day), individual scheduled coopers are expected to make up the hours by either rescheduling on another day, or through other special projects and/or events as approved by the director.
  • When co-oping, avoid socializing with the other adults and concentrate on the children who are under your guidance. Cell phones and blackberries are to be used only in true emergencies.
  • Starting with your own child, try to enlarge the group of children with whom you interact. Don’t stand back and watch; instead, participate in the activities. Both the school and the teachers are anxious to incorporate parents’ talents and ideas into the classroom and special projects.
  • Try to anticipate problem situations before they erupt. Teachers will try to handle most discipline problems in order to provide continuity for the children; however, there will be times when you are required to solve a dispute. It is best to attempt verbal direction first. If that fails, redirect the child’s energy to a constructive activity. If you aren’t sure how to handle a situation, take the children to a staff member and ask for help. The co-op trainings will give you some tools to deal with disputes and help you learn about the strategies ALG uses to help children navigate their emerging social world and the inevitable conflicts that arise on that journey. You will likely find that these methods work better on others’ children than your own. Don’t despair; everyone understands how difficult it is to discipline your own child when co-oping.
  • Good communication with the children is essential. Remember, we are encouraging their social and emotional development, and we want the children to feel good about themselves. Therefore, when talking with them, let the children know how special and interesting they are. Stoop down to their eye level and genuinely respond to them. Talk and smile a lot, conveying with warmth and affection how much you enjoy the personalities and appreciate the capabilities of each member of the class.

Finally, co-oping is hard work, but it has wonderful rewards—for you as well as the children!

How co-oping Tuition/Exchange Works:

A family has three options in terms of co-oping: Full Co-op, Partial Co-op, No Co-op. The co-op responsibilities are driven by the number of mornings each child (not each family) attends ALG.

  • Full Co-op: For children attendingALG two days a week, a full co-oping obligation is one day per month. For children attendingALG three or more days a week, a full co-oping obligation is two days per month (this is a $150 savings on tuition per month).
  • Partial Co-op: Partial co-oping is available for children attending ALG three or more days a week. The partial co-oping obligation for eligible families is one day per month (this is a $75 savings on tuition per month).
  • No Co-op: Families are not required to co-op for their child to attend ALG. Families who do not co-op pay full tuition with no discount.

There are also some other ways to fulfill to the co-op responsibility that take place out of the regular co-oping hours. There are limited positions on the Steering Committee and in the school’s administration that take place at the school and require parent participation.

These responsibilities are as follows:

  • President: Equivalent of 1 classroom day/month. Duties: Setting the agenda and presiding over the monthly steering committee meetings, which generally take place at the school. The President also serves as a parent liaison and maintains regular communication with the director to troubleshoot any extenuating circumstances with the pre-school’s administration. He/she also is a member of the ALG Board of Directors, and attends meetings three times/year. Finally, the President is responsible for putting together two parent-education sessions/year, based on the interests of the current families.
  • Admissions Coordinator: Equivalent of 1 classroom day/month. Duties: Respond to inquiries regarding ALG, conduct weekly tours for prospective parents from Oct-February, assemble admissions packets, and coordinate the acceptance and initial scheduling of newly enrolled children in cooperation with the pre-school director. Attends monthly SC meetings.
  • Secretary/Web Administrator: Equivalent of 1 classroom days/month. Duties: Maintains and improves the ALG website, including coordinating all web-based functionality for the annual auction and family fun day. Works with other SC members to determine ways to streamline responsibilities using the web. Annually creates and maintains the ALG listserve. Posts all Steering Committee minutes to the website. Attends all monthly SC meetings.
  • Co-op Coordinator: Equivalent of 1 classroom day/month. Duties: Assign monthly co-oping days for parents; publish on website and on bulletin board at school. Attends all monthly SC meetings.
  • Fundraising and Alumni Relations Coordinator: Equivalent of 1 classroom day/month. Duties include streamlining all fundraising activities and engaging alumni in the school functions.  This includes 2 postings to facebook per month.  Attends all monthly SC meetings.
  • Auction Chairperson: Equivalent of 2 classroom days in the Winter (December-March). Duties: Coordinates the Auction planning and event, including oversight of the other parent volunteers and documentation of the event.
  • Family Fun Day Chairperson: Equivalent of 2 classroom days in the Fall (September-October).Duties: Coordinate the family fun day planning and events, including the oversight of the other parent volunteers and documentation of the event.
Governance

ALG is incorporated as a 501-C3 nonprofit organization. The Board of Directors includes up to 3 members who serve terms of at least one year (or until a successor is identified), one of whom is the SC president. The board meets three times/year and the steering committee meets monthly (Sept-May). The board’s principal responsibilities are to support the staff and director, evaluate and approve ALG’s annual budget and review overall school policies. The board’s tri-annual meetings focus on long term and strategic issues.

The Steering Committee’s principle responsibilities focus on the day-to-day needs of the school, admissions and recruitment, website and communications, co-op coordination, and leading annual special events. The ALG Steering Committee President and the pre-school’s director is present at all Board and Steering Committee meetings. All meetings are open to any member (current or alum) of the school.

The Steering Committee meets monthly to conduct the formal business of the school. Steering Committee meetings are announced at least a week ahead of time and parents are encouraged either to attend, or, if they cannot, to let the president know of any questions or concerns they would like to be considered. Minutes of each Steering Committee meeting are posted to the website. An email is sent to the list when they are available.

Sometimes an urgent issue arises that must be attended to immediately. In such cases, a special Steering Committee and/or Board conference call may be arranged and announced by a notice posted on the front door of the school. Any parent who wishes to participate in the conference call may do so by contacting the Steering Committee President or ALG director.

The Director is responsible for the day-to-day operations and administration of the school, supervising the staff, supporting the Parent Steering Committee, and consulting with the Board on policy matters.

Tuition Chart

2015-2016 Monthly Tuition

Co-op

Hours

Monthly Tuition

2 days/week

3 days/week

4 days/week

5 days/week

Full

9-1

N/A

$572

$746

$872

9-3

N/A

$824

$1,060

$1,229

Partial

9-1

$428

$647

$821

$947

9-3

$604

$899

$1,135

$1,304

Non

9-1

$503

$722

$896

$1,022

9-3

$679

$974

$1,210

$1,379

After-Care

3-6

+ $210/month

+ $315/month

+ $420/month

+ $525/month

Co-op

  • Co-op days go from 8:30am to 1:30pm and are valued at $75/day.
  • Full-Coop refers to 2 co-op days/month and is open to students that attend 3-5 days/week.
  • Partial-Coop refers to 1 co-op day/month and is open to students that attend 2-5 days/week.

Aftercare (3-6pm)

  • Aftercare changes year to year based on the needs of enrolled families. ALG requires 5 children to be enrolled in aftercare to open on a particular day at a discounted rate of $25/day.
  • Drop-in aftercare is assessed at $15/hour or $30/day max.

Fees

  • Tuition is due no later than the 5th of the month. A 2.5% late fee will be assessed after the 5th.
  • The returned check fee is $35.00.
  • There is a LATE FEE. You will be charged $1.00 per minute paid directly to aftercare staff, but we expect this to happen rarely.
  • There is a 10% discount for each additional sibling’s tuition after the first sibling has paid in full.
  • A 2% discount is applied to payments for an entire semester or school year (September-December or January – June)
  • The charge for extending your child’s day is $15/hour or portion thereof, pending availability. See Extended Day/Guest Consent form for details.
  • Guests and Alumni are charged $60 for drop-in days, pending availability (aftercare not included).
Sample Daily Schedule
8:30AM Co-opers arrive to help set up
8:45 Students start to arrive
9:00 Circle time
9:15 Large Group free play
9:30 Special Teacher/Small Group Activities
10:00 Snack & bathroom
10:30 Outdoor play
12:00 Bathroom & Lunch
12:30 Clean Up Time
12:45 1 o’clockers gather belongings & have storytime, fingerplay, etc.
1:30 Co-opers leave & nappers prepare for naptime
Remaining children play (games, legos, art project, side yard)
2:30 Clean Up Time
2:45 3 o’clockers gather belongings & have storytime, fingerplay, etc.
3:00 Aftercare begins.
3:30 Afternoon special activity
5:45 Children gather belongings and prepare to go home
ALG Ground Rules

Ground Rules (for adults and children)

  • Ask before giving kisses, hugs, shooting, splashing, name calling, taking food from, or messing up someone else’s work.
  • If you want something that someone else has, you need to ask for it and listen to what the other person says.
  • Nothing at school should go into your mouth except your fingers and your food.
  • Please don’t run in the school.
  • We only throw soft things, like pillows.
  • When we finish with things, we put them back before moving on to something else.
  • All children participate in general clean-up at the end of the day, prior to pick up.
  • Games are for children and adults to play together.
  • Yelling is an outside activity.
  • Only teachers/grown ups turn the music (CD player) on and off.
  • Only teachers/grown ups open doors.

Art

  • Draw on paper only, not on the walls and/or floors.
  • Reachable art supplies are always available. Other supplies are to be used with teachers or co-opers.
  • Markers are only for drawing, be gentle with the markers. Remember to replace the caps on the markers when finished.
  • Finished artwork belongs in your art file or in the trash. Write your name on it , attach your symbol, or ask your teacher to write your name on it before you put it away.

Cubbies

  • Ask permission if you want something from someone else’s cubby.
  • Children should always have a seasonally appropriate change of clothes (labeled with child’s name on ziplock bag) in the cubby.

Bathroom

  • Everyone needs to wash hands before eating, after peeing or making a BM and when coming in from outside.
  • Only two people in the bathroom at a time. If there is a grown up to help with traffic control, there may be a line outside the bathroom.
  • Only one squeeze of soap and one paper towel per hand washing.
  • Use a piece of toilet paper no longer than your arm to wipe yourself.
  • Bathrooms are for handwashing, peeing or making a BM only. They are not for water play, gymnastics or dramatic play.

Lunches

  • Everyone packs up their lunches and puts them in their cubby when they are finished.
  • Trash should go in the trashcan and not be left on the table.
  • Recylable containers should be placed in the recycling cans.
  • Keep feet on the floor, not on the table or chairs.
  • We sit on the floor or in chairs.
  • Food is for eating, not throwing.
  • We do not share food that has been in someone else’s mouth.

Courtyard

  • The courtyard is for playing only when a teacher is in attendance.
  • Ask permission from a teacher to go up to the courtyard and to go back downstairs to use the bathroom or get a drink of water.
  • Wear underwear or a bathing suit for water play, or use a smock.
  • Ask permission of the other children if you want to splash, provided all children are in appropriate clothing (bathing suit, smock or underwear).
  • Park your bike along the wall when you are finished riding.

Side Yard

  • Keep the sand in the sandbox.
  • Children should not touch the gate or try to climb the fence.
  • Balls should be kicked or thrown. Grownups must retrieve any ball that goes over the fence. If balls continue to find their way over the fence, they will be put away for the day.
  • An adult should swing with the children on the swing and people need to keep their fingers inside the swing.