Arrival and Departure
We ask that children not be simply “dropped-off” at school but that each child be handed over, safely, to a staff member or person helping with carpool. That is, the child’s presence is noted and custody effectively established by the staff member or volunteer. In similar manner, upon departure of the child, a staff member transfers custody safely to a person authorized to pick up that child. Children must be escorted between vehicle and building and between building and vehicle. If a child is to leave school by arrangement other than the regularly assigned carpool, we must have written authorization for that change, prior to releasing the child. A new driver may be asked to show identification to prove identity if staff are not familiar with that driver. Each child should be picked up promptly at the end of the school day. Should an emergency delay the pick up, please call the school, and provide pertinent information. A staff member will remain with the child at school until the parent, guardian, or other authorized person, arrives, or some other arrangement is made for the child’s care. No child will ever be left alone or in the care of a stranger.
Health and Well Being
If your child is ill, he/she should not be brought to school. Any child with a fever needs to be fever-free without medication for 24 hours before returning to school. This is to protect your child and his/her classmates. Should your child become ill while at school, we will call and ask that you pick up your child as soon as possible. If your child gets exposed to a communicable disease while at school, you will be notified either by phone or in writing as soon as the school is aware of the exposure.
The director and/or the classroom teacher will report any suspected child abuse, or neglect, to the child’s parents and, as required by law, to the Protective Services Unit, Department of Social Services.
Stratford does not give out medications including sunscreen and insect repellants. Inhalers, Benadryl and Epipens are administered ONLY in emergency situations with proper doctor and parent authorization. Any medications coming into the center must be in original packaging, must be labeled with the child’s name, name of the medication, the dosage amount, times to be given and must include medication authorization sheets signed by the doctor and the parents. We ask that when you get your medications you ask for expiration dates after the end of the school year for which you are bringing them. This will save you both time and money as pharmacists will give you medication that they need to get rid of first, but you have the right to ask for a later expiration date.
If medication is needed for a child in a life threatening situation, medication will be given by trained staff and a written record will be made of the administration of the medication. This record will be given to the parent as well as placed in the child’s record. Parents will be notified immediately after administration. The student will be monitored for adverse reactions and any reactions will be reported to the parents immediately as well as recorded.
Medications will be checked for expiration date upon receipt in school and checked monthly. Any medications needing to be replaced during the school year will be recorded on the medication expiration sheet kept in the Director’s office. Parents will be notified at the beginning of the month of expiration that new medications are needed. Parents will be notified and given 14 days to pick up expired medications and medication
authorization sheets. If not picked up in the allotted time, medications will be disposed of in an appropriate manner.
Weather Related Closings
Stratford conforms to Virginia Beach Public Schools as to closing, opening late or closing early for hurricane, snow or other weather conditions. If Virginia Beach Public Schools are closed due to weather conditions, Stratford is closed. If Virginia Beach Public Schools open late, Stratford will open, commensurately late. For example a 2-hour delay in the opening of the Public Schools will cause Stratford which normally opens at 9 a.m., to open at 11:00 a.m. When the Public Schools close early, due to adverse weather conditions, Stratford will close early. Of course you may pick up your child earlier than announced closing time. Above these policy guidelines, use your own judgment to avoid driving in unsafe conditions.
Closings will also be posted on the website.
If an emergency situation occurs which causes the school to close early, parents will be notified by phone by the classroom teachers or the director. If under emergency situations a parent or other contact person cannot be reached, the child will remain with the director in the safe location or the shelter in place location until a parent or authorized contact person can be reached. If the child has to be relocated a notice will be posted on the main door as to the location and a phone number to reach the director. The full emergency plan for the school can be reviewed at any time. Please contact the director to see this. All staff are trained in all emergency procedures yearly. Fire Drills are done monthly (except in September when two are done) and shelter-in-place drills are done twice a year.
- Address/Phone: Please inform us in writing of any changes during the year, including any changes of your alternate contacts.
- Birthdays: These are very special days for all children, and we would love to celebrate them at Stratford. Please check with your child’s teacher by means of a note to set a time and date. A cake, cupcake or other special snack with colorful napkins and a drink are sure to be a hit. Please be sensitive to any allergies that exist in your child’s classroom. We don’t want to have any child left out. We ask that goodie bags be saved for outside school parties. If you are inviting the whole class to a party you may have the teacher or your child hand out invitations to the class, but if you are only having a few then we ask that the invitations not come to school.
- Book Bags: Each child needs a book bag to start the year. Shopping with your child for that special one can be a good way to prepare for the coming year’s experience. Please, remember to put your child’s name and phone number on the bag as many children choose the same, perfect bag. Also, please consider the size of the bag and what the child will be carrying in it. Younger children need room for a change of clothes and room for the lunch box and papers done at school; older children need room for the lunch box, papers done in class and reading books. Also consider the ease of opening and closing, the child should be able to get into the bag independently. Toys hanging from the outside of book bags are a safety hazard and therefore are not allowed. (This includes hand sanitizer.)
- Lunches: Unless your child is to be picked up by 12:00 noon, you must send lunch with him/her. The lunch bag, box or other container must be labeled with the student’s first and last name. The state now also requires us to date the lunches daily, unless we state that we discard all uneaten food. Therefore, starting September 5, 2013, we will be discarding any and all uneaten food unless you sent it in with a date on it, in which case, we will return the uneaten food that has a date. We do not refrigerate or heat lunches, therefore, perishable food must be packed in an insulated container with an ice pack. We suggest simple, yet nourishing food which your child will eat. Any uneaten food will be discarded. Soda is not allowed and will be replaced by water and the soda sent home. Also no nuts or hard candies are allowed due to choking hazards. Should you neglect to send lunch with your child, you may bring, or send, it later in the morning. In an emergency we will provide lunch to your child. (For children under 4, hotdogs and grapes should be cut up; popcorn is considered a choking hazard so please avoid it.)
- Clothing: Children should wear sturdy, practical play clothes to school. Although, we try to keep the children in smocks while doing arts and crafts, a spill is almost inevitable. And, please, put name labels in coats, sweaters, caps etc. Such items are easily left behind. Labels make it easy to return lost items. Girls should not wear platform shoes or shoes without backs. Sneakers are really the safest play shoe for the children. Girls should wear shorts under dresses or skirts so they can enjoy the slides and climbing toys. For the younger children, an extra set of clothing in the bookbag is a great idea just in case of an accident. We do have extra clothes incase of an emergency but children prefer their own clothes.
- Holidays: We celebrate many holidays at Stratford. The children love sharing in and learning about the holidays of other religious or ethnic groups, as well as those they observe at home. If you would like to help or to participate in such festivities, please inform the classroom teacher with a note. Each class will have a sign up list for parents when you come to visit on the first two days of school and you can sign up then to help out with a special holiday or party if you choose to do so.
- Conferences: Parent-teacher conferences are done in November. Although it may seem a long time after school starts, please realize that the teachers need time to get to know your child. Meanwhile, rest assured that if a problem arises, your child’s teacher will contact you immediately. Notice of when your child’s conference is will be sent home several weeks before it is to occur and if you cannot make that date the teachers will arrange a time that is suitable to both you and the teachers. You are always welcome to contact the teacher for an update on your child at any time. A report on your child’s progress will be sent home in the spring as well and parents may make appointments to meet with the classroom teachers if they so desire.