The below information along with other information identified in the Hamilton State Preschool section of the Hamilton Unified School District website is also available in the Parent Handbook provided to parents who have children enrolled in our program.
State Preschool; Half–Day Program
Children with a CPS referral receive top enrollment priority.
After children in the first priority are served, the school gives priority to children who will be 4 on or before September 1st prior to serving eligible children who turn 3 on or before September 1st. Within these age groups, families with the lowest adjusted monthly income and largest family size shall be admitted first. Once spaces are filled, a waiting list will be established for enrollment as space becomes available.
Notice of Action
All parents will receive a Notice of Action indicating the following actions: Children are enrolled in the preschool, children’s services have been changed, or children’s services are denied. If services are denied, reasoning for this decision will be indicated on the “Notice of Action”. Parents have 10 days to appeal the decision with the program director. If the parents are again refused services, they may contact the State Department of Education, Child Development Division to file an appeal. All decisions of the Department are final.
Attendance is crucial to your child’s success at school. For children to receive the most from their preschool experience, daily attendance is required. It is expected that your child will attend preschool.
The health and safety of the children is of utmost priority. Licensing requires all children to be checked for signs of illness each day before being admitted to the classroom. If a child is absent from school, parents must notify the school that the child will be absent. If no call is made, the child will be marked for unexcused.
A child is allowed to have three unexcused absences before the contract will be terminated. An unexcused absence is anything not listed below.
Excusable absences are any absence that will affect the child’s performance in school or those absences that require the administration of medication (severe colds, fever, vomiting, diarrhea, ear infections, severe coughing). Communicative diseases are excused absences, such as head lice, impetigo, and pink eye. Doctor appointments, funeral, ill parent (quarantined or hospitalized), or family emergencies (unforeseen family situations or imminent danger or self or property), are also considered excused absences.
A child is allowed 10 “in the best interest” days. Examples of this type of absence is staying at home with your child, sleeping in because of a late night with out of town guests, trips to Sacramento, going to Mexico for Christmas, kindergarten sign up, a sibling is home from school, packing to move, the birth of a sibling, or a photo shoot because it is the “best interest of the child” to spend the day with you.
On the 11th “best interest day,” your child will be dropped from the program, and you may choose to go back onto the waiting list for the next available spot.
If your child appears ill, PLEASE do not send him/her to school. Your child will be more vulnerable to infection. It is in the best interest for your child, and children at our school, to keep your child at home when he/she is ill, even if it disappoints your child. Children need to be well to participate in activities in the program. Children, who become ill while at school, will be sent home.
If your child is absent for more than a week, the child must have a doctor’s note to be readmitted. Your child may return to school after 24 hours after taking an antibiotic.
If your child is well enough to come to school, we will expect him/her to go outdoors with the class, weather permitting.
Illness May Return to School
Fever: 24 hours after last occurrence and stopped taking medication for flu like symptoms
Vomiting: 24 hours after last occurrence and stopped taking medication for flu like symptoms
Diarrhea: 24 hours after last occurrence and stopped taking medication for flu like symptoms.
Chickenpox: When lesions are scabbed over and no new blisters have occurred.
Head lice: After initial treatment and must be nit-free
Pink Eye: When under prescribed medication and no discharge from eyes.
Ring worm: 24 hours after treatment and under doctor’s care. Cover lesions while in school.
Impetigo: 24 hours after treatment. Cover lesions while in school.
Scabies: 24 hours after treatment and under doctor’s care.
Strepthroat: Not contagious after 24 hours of taking antibiotics.
State law requires children in school, childcare or preschool to be protected against polio, diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, measles, mumps, rubella, meningitis, and hepatitis-B. The state also recommends the varicella vaccine.
A child may not attend school until the immunization record is obtained. However, children may attend school if they lack vaccine does for which they are not yet due. A doctor can provide a written statement of that due date.
Children have 30 calendar days from enrollment to complete a medical assessment/ physical, and TB test.
Failure to provide documentation will lead to termination.
Staff will be trained and able to assist children with Epi-pen, seizures, and inhalers. Documentation of parent permission, instructions from physician, verification of staff training, and procedures for each medical incident will be on file. All medication will be in a locked box, and a record of medical services used during school hours will be documented and reported to the parent.
Children are required to be toilet trained at the time of orientation (unless the child has an IEP). If the child is not toilet trained we will offer a one month transition period. The preschool staff will work together as partners with the parents in assisting the child to achieve the skills that are necessary for independent toileting and hygiene. However, if a child has two accidents in one day, the family will be notified to come and pick up the child for the remainder of that day. If the child continues to have frequent accidents on a daily basis, the preschool staff will ask the family to terminate the child from preschool enrollment until complete toilet training is achieved. If a child shows no readiness to use the toilet, it is often an indicator of a lack of readiness for a structured preschool setting.
Pick Up /Drop Off Children
Children can be dropped off from 8 till 8:10. Your child will NOT be accepted before 8am. Teachers are preparing the classroom, and will open the door at 8am.School starts at 8:10 with morning circle. Morning circle is an important and valuable part of our day. We set the theme for the week’s lesson, have children participate with the helper chart, and have literacy involvement. If your child is late, you will be asked to take your child home. A child will be released to an authorized adult (age 18 and over) listed to take child. Parents are encouraged to add or delete person(s) from their emergency pick up form at any time. Emergency cards will be updated during each conference.
Our preschool has an open-door policy. This means you as a parent, are welcome to come in the classroom any time and stay as long as you wish to observe. All parents who stay longer than 8:30 are required to present a negative TB test, proof of immunization against influenza, pertussis (whopping cough/ DTAP) and measles before working in the classroom, and must find alternative care for younger/ older siblings. All parents are asked to participate with two activities a school year. Sign-ups will be presented at the first parent advisory committee. Parents are expected to attend two parent conferences to discuss your child’s success, concerns, and interest during the school year.
We have a parent advisory committee facilitated by the director. Parents complete a survey deciding time, date, and topics. Parents are encouraged to attend three meetings, and take part in this committee to share their ideas. During the meetings, parents receive information to discuss upcoming events, basic child development skills, program goals, and a wide range of other topics of interest. We also welcome guest speakers. Meeting minutes will be handed out after each meeting.
Field trips are planned through out the year with parent support. Trips are used to enhance topics and themes, which are discussed and learned in school. One parent is encouraged to sign up, and spend the day with their child. Parents are able to talk to their child about where they are going, what they see, point out signs, and teach traffic safety. Parents must stay with their child at all times, sit with child on the bus, and have permission to leave the group. Parents must not bring food unless directed, and find alternative care for younger or older siblings.
Hamilton High State Preschool has a no-sugar snack policy. We feel that this is important for the physical, dental, and mental development of the children. We strongly suggest the accent be put on the happiness of a birthday, the special uniqueness of the birthday child, and with the growth and advancement the child has made over the past year.
Concentrate on how the snack/ treat is presented (fancy wrapper, goodie bag), not the actual snack itself. The snack can be special because your child helped prepare it. No cupcakes or cookies, PLEASE! Fruits, cheese & crackers, graham crackers, popcorn, pretzels, low sugar cereal, trail mix, juice box, fruit snacks all make GREAT SNACKS. YOU are bringing it – that’s what is special to your child.
Non-food items are also welcomed. Here is a list of a few ideas:
A pencil, balloon, pad of paper, beach balls, small cars, plastic rings, or plastic whistles.
If you would like to give a story book on your child’s birthday, as part of your child’s special day, we will read this book to the class.
Another idea is to make a special birthday banner using pictures, glitter, or stickers. We will hang it in our classroom. We think these ideas along with our traditional birthday crown will help your child feel special. We also feel that we are giving the children a healthy example for sound development.
Clothing/ Toy Policy
Your child will need to have a set of extra marked clothing that can be stored in the preschool. Accidents do happen from time to time. Please make sure your child has a weather-appropriate set of clothing in his /her cubby at all times for these small accidents.
We get involved in activities and should not have to be overly concerned with staying clean. Dresses with ruffles, slippery shoes, and pants with difficult belts and fastenings should be avoided. Be sure that your child’s clothing is comfortable, washable, marked with child’s name, and appropriate for arts and crafts.
Toys from home tend to get lost, broken and cause arguments. If toys must be brought to school, they must stay in their cubby. We want the children to have the opportunity to experience a wide variety of items that we have for them here. Help us keep toys at home.
All children will participate in the National School Lunch Program and apply for the Free and Reduced Lunch Application. Children will receive a well-balanced breakfast and lunch meal. Food from home is generally discouraged, as it creates situations among other children. We realize children have different nutritional needs. If your child has a food allergies please let the teacher know. Staff will be positive role models by practicing appropriate food-related behavior.
1. Quite time is planned just before meals
2. Everyone is to wash hands before setting tables, handling food, or eating.
3. Children are encouraged to participate in table setup and clean-up.
4. Children are taking responsibility for their spills.
5. There will be one adult per table. The adult will be centrally located at the table, so they can easily assist the children without getting up.
6. Everyone will remain seated during the entire meal.
7. At every meal, each adult will discuss with the children about the foods, color, texture, and taste.
8. Children are encouraged, not forced, to taste all foods on their plate (taster bit).
9. The eating utensils are easy for children to handle.
10. When possible, the food is cut into finger food portions.
11. Food is not used as a punishment or reward.
12. Adults will model positive eating habits and good mealtime behavior.
13. Children will be allowed 30 minutes for each meal.
14. Table and chairs are at the correct height for children, and tables are not overcrowded.
15. The eating area is clean and attractive.
16. Meal times are well spaced. A minimum of three hours must elapse between meals.
17. Accommodations are made for children with special needs, and food allergies are posted and visible.
Daily Sign In
Children must be signed in and out everyday by a parent or authorized adult with the exact time, and a full printed signature… first and last name. The time of day must be noted, and if your child is absent, it must be noted on the sign in and out sheet. Specific cause for sickness must be written (flu, cold, fever, ill).
Our approach to discipline relies on positive preventive steps that redirect and encourage behaviors that are acceptable. Children are encouraged to solve problems using words, rather than resorting to physical solutions.
Discipline will be implemented by:
Verbal reminders related to safety and the rights of others, and/or child is redirected.
“Breaks / Cool Downs” (1 minute per 1 year of age) taken in “cool down house”.
A behavior modification plan is designed at child study team meetings, which include parents, teachers, and a behavioral specialist.
Suspension/Termination. All negative behavior will be documented and reported to parents in a progress report.
If children or parents are a threat or danger to themselves or others at the school, their contract could be terminated.
In order to be prepared for any emergency, which might occur while your child is at school, we have developed a plan, and practice drills once a month. In case of flooding, earthquake, or fire, children will be evacuated to the high school gym.
Procedures for Lockdown:
The school will post a white circle on the front door. The school will lock all doors, window and window coverings are closed, and children are kept away from the windows. No one will be allowed to leave or enter the building until the lockdown has been lifted. The phone will only be used in case of emergency, as the lines need to be kept open. We will remain in lockdown until law enforcement unlocks the schools door.
Child Abuse Reporting Law
California child abuse reporting law mandates certain professionals and lay persons who have a special working relationship or contact with children to report suspected abuse to the proper authorities. The Child Abuse Reporting Law states that: “any child care custodian (teachers), medical practitioner, non-medical practitioner or employee of a child protective agency who has knowledge of or observes a child in his or her professional capacity or within the scope or his or her employment whom he or she reasonably suspects has been the victim of child abuse shall report the known or suspected instance of child abuse to a child protective agency. “Reasonable suspicion” means that it is objectively reasonable for a person to entertain such a suspicion, based upon facts that could cause a reasonable person in a like position, drawing on his or her training and experience, to suspect child abuse.” (Penal Code, Section 11166) Reports of suspected child abuse are investigated by either the local law enforcement agency and/or by Child Protective Services. The law does not require mandated reporters to notify the parents that a report of suspected child abuse has been filed. Information regarding investigation of suspected child abuse will be available from the law enforcement or Child Protective Services. A child who is suspected of being abused may be taken into custody of law enforcement. California Education Code, Section 48906, specifies, “in those cases, the school official shall provide the peace officer with the address and telephone number of the minor’s parent or guardian. The peace officer shall take immediate steps to notify the parent, guardian, or responsible relative of the minor that the child is in custody.”
Uniform Complaint Procedure
The Governing Board of Hamilton Unified School District designates the following compliance officer to receive and investigate complaints and ensures district law compliance with:
Dr. Jeremy Powell, Superintendent
P.O. Box 488, 620 Canal Street
Hamilton City, CA 95951; (530) 826-3261
Parents must receive the notice of complaint procedures annually in writing. The board encourages the early, informal resolution of complaints with the preschool program director whenever possible. However, if a complaint cannot be resolved with the preschool director, the following procedure must be followed for all complaints:
Step 1: Filling a complaint
Any individual, public agency or organization may file a written complaint with the superintendent/Principal.
If the person who is filling the complaint is unable to file the complaint in writing due to conditions such as illiteracy or other disabilities, district staff shall help him/her to file the complaint.
Step 2: Mediation
Within three days of receiving the complaint, the Superintendent/Principal shall hold an investigation meeting within five days of receiving the complaint. All parties involved may question each other and witnesses during the meeting.
Step 3: Investigation of Complaint
The compliance officer shall hold an investigation with five days of receiving the complaint or an unsuccessful attempt to mediate the complaint. All parties involved may question each other and witnesses during the meeting.
Step 4: Response
Within 30 days of receiving the complaint, the compliance officer shall prepare and send to the parents a written report of the district’s investigation and decision. If the parent is dissatisfied with the compliance officer’s decision, he/she may, within five days, file his /her complaint in writing with the Board.
The board may consider the matter at its next regular Board meeting or at a special Board meeting convened in order to meet the 60 day time limit within which the complaint, in which case the compliance officer’s decision is final.
Step 5 Final Written Decision
The report of the district’s decision shall be written in English and in the language of the parents whenever feasible or required by law.
If dissatisfied with the district’s decision, the parents may appeal in writing the California Department of Education within 15 days of receiving the district’s written decision. When appealing to the California Department of Education, the parent(s) must specify the reason(s) for appealing the district’s decision and must include a copy of the locally filed complaint and the district’s decision.
Parent(s) are welcome to seek legal council at the following locations:
California Legal Information Center, Chico, CA; North Valley Paralegal Service, Chico, CA
Glenn County Office of Education, Willows, CA
Families who file a complaint against the program, staff or instructional materials will in no way receive punitive actions due to their filing a complaint.