Parent Handbook Table of Contents
- School History
- Educational Philosophy
- Trauma-Informed Classroom
- Days and Hours of Operation
- Volunteer Teacher Aides
- Field Trips
- Permission Forms
- Contact Information
- Expectations for Drop-Off and Pick-Up
- Attendance Policy
- Outdoor Policy
- Discipline Policy
- Immunization Policy
- Reporting Child Abuse
- Breakfast and Lunch
- Sickness Guidelines
- Toilet Training Policy
- Parent/Guardian Teacher Conferences
- Developmental Assistance
- Programs for Parents/Guardians
- Preschool Family Advisory Council
- School Closing Due to Weather
In February 2015, with a strong belief in the importance of early education for our uptown children, a passionate group of volunteers launched Camp Curtin Community Preschool. Camp Curtin Mitchell Memorial United Methodist Church generously donated classroom space; the Harrisburg Area Community College Early Learning Center offered curriculum guidance; and the Covenant Community Corporation provided organizational and fiscal leadership. The donation of a van by Gilbert Funeral Home allowed the school to offer numerous field trips to the children throughout the year.
Initially, school was open for two hours per day on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays and staffed exclusively by volunteers. With the help of monetary gifts from individuals, corporations, and grant organizations, the school now employs a professional staff of two lead teachers and an assistant teacher, aided by a dedicated group of trained community volunteers. In January of 2018, the preschool was able to extend its hours of operation in order to better serve the community.
In June, 2019 because Camp Curtin Mitchell Memorial United Methodist Church closed, the preschool moved to its new location at Trinity Church of Harrisburg, 422 Harris Street, Harrisburg. At that time it changed its name to Trinity Preschool - Part of the Camp Curtin Learning Community, where it will continue its mission and program.
The Preschool curriculum is inspired by “Constructivist” principles which hold that children learn best by doing. Our teachers aim to provide a stimulating environment that inspires children to ask questions and become active learners.
Additionally, Trinity Preschool practices “Developmental Discipline” which values the importance of building trusting relationships with each child. Our teachers aim to focus on the needs of each child, building on their strengths and helping them to navigate their challenges in a respectful, nurturing manner.
Exposure to adverse experiences can significantly affect a child’s abilities to learn, form supportive relationships, and follow classroom routine. Trinity Preschool practices “Trauma - Informed Care.” We believe our children and their families have incredible strengths. Our staff and volunteers work to establish collaborative relationships; to support choice and autonomy; to build resilience; and to create a physically and emotionally safe environment. We ask "What happened and how can we help?", rather than "What is wrong with you?".
Our children need loving and nurturing adults who can support them unconditionally in their most troubling moments. When these relationships are established, healing can occur.
Days and Hours of Operation
The Preschool is open from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Fall Semester: First day of Preschool is Monday, August 19, 2019. The last day of the fall semester is Friday, December 20, 2019.
Spring Semester: First day of Preschool is Friday, January 3, 2020. The last day of spring semester is Friday, May 29, 2020.
Each morning the teachers will be preparing for the school day and will open the classroom door at 8:55 a.m. Please be prompt so that your child can join his/her classmates for a day of fun and learning. The classroom day ends at 1:00 p.m. It is important that you be prompt for your child’s pick up.
Jennifer Morris, better known as “Ms. Jen,” was born and raised in central Pennsylvania. She resides with two teenagers, two dogs, two cats, two guinea pigs, two twins, and one husband. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her family, reading and listening to music. She has volunteered and been active in the community for many years, because she finds that working with others to reach a common goal is an amazing opportunity. Ms. Jen is very excited to be part of the Trinity Preschool family, and looks forward to learning and growing with each child, family and co-worker.
Samantha Sanchez was raised by her mother in Lower East Manhattan. The family eventually moved to Pennsylvania, where Samantha graduated from Cedar Crest High School. “Ms. Sam” has always enjoyed working with others, particularly at the Camp Curtin Community Preschool, where she previously served as a key volunteer. What makes her feel most rewarded is making others around her happy. Her goal at the Trinity Preschool is to provide the children with a place of comfort where they will grow and learn together with the core values of honesty, hard work, compassion, and most importantly, FUN!
Rachael Dudu was born and raised in Uganda, where her parents and siblings reside. She is married with a 10-year-old son and is a student at Harrisburg Area Community College majoring in Early Childhood Education. “Ms. Rachel’s” hobbies include having fun with kids, her family and friends, singing, cooking, baking and volunteering at her local church kids programs.
Volunteer Teacher Aides
Deb Donnelly, Ashley Gipe, Stephanie Laverty, Shirley Marks, Ruth Morris, Jimmy Rafferty, Debbie Sanders, Carolyn Shaffer, Rich Stokes and Mike Behney.
All of our staff and volunteers have their child abuse clearances as mandated by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Through daily classroom activity, we strive to maintain a BALANCE between:
-Child-directed & teacher directed activity
-Structure & flexibility
-Group needs & individual needs
-Program goals & children’s interests
-Security & risk-taking
-Familiarity & challenge
Daily activity offering includes:
-Music & Movement
-Outdoor Play (weather permitting)
One of the things that make Trinity Preschool an especially vibrant learning community is our ability to transport our children to many fascinating places including:
-Lake Tobias Wildlife Park
-Zoo America & Chocolate World
-Paulus Petting Zoo
-City Island & Pride of the Susquehanna Riverboat
-Madeline Olewine Memorial Library
-Harrisburg Police Station
-Harrisburg Fire Station
-Olewine Nature Center at Wildwood Park
Students are secured in approved car seats and driven in the preschool van or in an auxiliary vehicle driven by a teacher or trained volunteer.
NOTE: During the summer months, Trinity Preschool offers its students a “Summer Adventure Camp” experience. Every Monday for six weeks from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. students are transported to fun and educationally enriching locations throughout the area. A signed Permission Form is required and can be completed before each trip begins.
Parent/Guardian signed Permission Forms are required for activities away from the Trinity Church.
-One blanket Permission Form must be signed by a parent/guardian at the beginning of each school year that covers all local activities such as walking to the local playgrounds.
-An additional Permission Form must be signed by a parent/guardian before each field trip. These forms, including the particulars of the trip, will be available for signing in advance of each trip.
Your child’s safety is a top priority for us.
-Monday through Friday, Susquehanna Street side door to Trinity Church of Harrisburg is opened at 8:50 a.m. and locked at 9:30 a.m. It will remain locked until 1:00 p.m.
-Each preschool classroom has two exits/entrances to the outside.
-An adult accompanies children for restroom visits.
-Fire drills are practiced monthly with the children.
-Booster seats are used for all field trips.
To enroll your child in our program, the following forms must be completed before or on your child’s first day of school:
-EITC Pre-Kindergarten Scholarship Application for Families (See Academic School Year Scholarship Information below)
-Emergency Health Information Form
- Immunization Statement (see Immunization Policy below)
-Child Pickup Form*
-Permission Form for Local Outings
* As part of our application packet, parents/guardians are requested to designate persons eligible for child pickup. In order to ensure your child’s safety, we would ask that each designated pickup person be prepared to show identification when picking up children.
All forms can be found at: https://campcurtinpreschool.presencehost.net/what-we-do/enroll/forms.html
Tuition to attend Trinity Preschool is $5,200 per academic year; however, the Preschool seeks to provide a tuition-free or low-tuition, high-quality early development education program for families who wish to enroll their 3 or 4 year old child. Therefore, scholarships are available for children of families with combined income of $85,000 or less through the preschool’s Educational Investment Tax Credit (EITC) program. Eligible families are required to fill out the EITC Pre-Kindergarten Scholarship Application for Families form with which the preschool can help.
Otherwise, tuition is $134 per week for the 2019-20 school year. Tuition payments are due at the beginning of each week. Tuition payments can be made online, check or cash. If paying online use the Donate option at www.trinitypreschoolhbg.org
For tuition paying families, the Preschool will hold a student’s place until he/she returns if tuition continues to be paid, in advance, in full.
No tuition will be refunded for missed school days or withdrawal of student.
Contacting the school…..If your child cannot be in school, please let us know. The phone number in the preschool classroom is 717.559.0370. Alternate number include Steering Committee Member/School Registrar Rich Stokes, 717.580.7364.
The school contacting you…..please let us know of any phone/email or address changes as soon as they occur. It’s critical that we be able to contact each household in the event of any unscheduled changes or emergencies. Thank you for your consideration of this important matter.
Expectations for Drop-Off and Pick-Up
It is very important that you be on time for the beginning of the school day so that your child can join his/her classmates for a day of fun and learning. Late arrivals disturb the structure and rhythm of the classroom program and disadvantage the concentration of both the teachers and the other students. It is also important that you be prompt for your child’s pick-up. Teachers and volunteers have a personal schedule and cannot be asked or expected to stay late.
Unless your child is sick, it is critical that he/she attend preschool every day. Daily lessons build upon each other, and missing school puts your child at a learning disadvantage. We don’t want this to happen. We have waiting lists for enrollment and it is only fair that we reserve space for students who are able to attend regularly.
If your child is not able to attend school for any reason, please contact the school. The phone number in the Preschool classroom is 717.559.0370. An alternate number is Steering Committee Member/School Registrar Rich Stokes, 717.580.7364.
The teachers at Trinity Preschool take the students outside to play daily as long as weather permits. Temperatures of 32 degrees and above are safe for students to play outside when dressed appropriately (coats, gloves and hats). If there is a day in which you don’t feel comfortable having your child play outside, please inform your child’s teacher during drop off.
Trinity Preschool believes that it is our responsibility to provide children with positive guidance and in its experience most children will respond well to this approach. In the event that a child does not respond, Trinity Preschool will notify the parents/guardians and work closely with them to develop a plan to help the child.
Should the child’s continued negative behavior put themselves, their peers or preschool staff at risk for physical harm or if the child damages property belonging to the school or others, Trinity Preschool reserves the right to ask the parent to withdraw the child from the school. While Trinity Preschool understands the developmental tendencies of children to experiment with inappropriate language to shock others, withdrawal may also be requested for those children who are verbally abusive including the repeated use of inappropriate language.
Under no circumstances will corporal punishment be permitted. Discipline will not be associated with food, rest or toileting.
Before a child may be enrolled or attend classes or programs at Trinity Preschool, the parent or legal guardian must provide an up-to-date written verification from a physician, physician’s assistant, CRNP, the Department of Health or a local health department of ongoing vaccines administered to an infant, toddler or preschool child in accordance with the schedule recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.
The Certificate of Immunization must be presented at registration and the Preschool will retain a copy for its files.
Immunization schedules for 2019 are available on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website.
Reporting Child Abuse
Trinity Preschool is committed to providing a safe, secure and nurturing environment for its students. Abuse of any child will be reported in compliance with the PA Child Protective Services Law. All Trinity Preschool employees and volunteers are mandatory reporters and will immediately make an oral or electronic report to ChildLine when there is reasonable cause to suspect that a child is a victim of child abuse.
Breakfast and Lunch
We are grateful to the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank for providing breakfast and lunch for our children.
Breakfast is offered to the students when they arrive at 9:00 a.m. It generally consists of cereal/muffin, milk, juice and fruit.
Lunch is served at 11:30 a.m. It generally consists of a sandwich, vegetable, fruit, and milk.
Please inform the teachers of any dietary needs that your child may have.
Additionally, in order to be fair to all our children, we ask that children not bring in individual snacks. If you would like to share a healthy snack or treat with the entire classroom, please let the teachers know in advance for planning purposes.
-Fever: If your child has a fever of 101°F or higher, please keep him or her home. Our policy is that your child must remain free of fever for 24 hours before returning to the preschool.
-Diarrhea and/or Vomiting: Diarrhea and/or vomiting is due to illness and is highly contagious. If your child has diarrhea and/or vomiting, please keep him/her home. When children return too soon, there is a much higher rate of recurrence and contagiousness.
-Coughs and Colds: Colds are a common occurrence. However, there are some symptoms that warrant keeping a child home. These include, but are not limited to: bad cold with hacking or persistent cough, green or yellow nasal drainage, productive cough with green or yellow phlegm being coughed up. These symptoms may be present with or without a fever.
-Rash: A rash may be a sign of many illnesses, such as measles or chicken pox. Please do not send your child to the preschool with a rash until the doctor says it is OK to do so.
Toilet Training Policy
-All children must be fully toilet trained and in underwear (no pull-ups) prior to being enrolled in the Trinity Preschool.
-Child is expected to communicate to the teacher, teacher assistant or classroom volunteer when he/she needs to use the toilet and independently attend to him/herself completely.
-Teacher/Assistant or volunteer will accompany child to the bathroom and will help only with pulling shorts/pants up or down. (We recommend that children wear clothing with elastic waistbands that have no belts, button or snaps that make it hard for the child to be independent in the bathroom.) The volunteer or teacher assistant will remind the child to flush the toilet and to wash hands.
-Teacher/Assistant or volunteer will change soiled clothes if an accident occurs during the school day. Parents are asked to supply an extra set of clothing that will fit in the child’s cubby.
-If an “accident” occurs three times in one month, the teacher will contact the parent/guardian and the child must be picked up and will not be readmitted until toilet training is successful. If toileting continues to be a problem, parents/guardians will be contacted to pick up the child and asked to continue to work on toilet training until child is fully toilet trained.
Parent/Guardian Teacher Conferences
At least once during each of our two semesters (August-December/January-May), our teachers will invite you to a conference to discuss the progress of your child. They will let you know well in advance of each conference.
Additionally, parent/guardians are very much encouraged to communicate at any time. Cooperation in this effort is vital and always a priority for us.
The Capital Area Intermediate Unit Preschool Early Intervention Program provides a wide array of programs and services for children from their third birthday until entry into school. Services for children during the preschool years are provided without cost to their families when the child is determined to meet eligibility requirements.
If our teachers believe that a child could benefit from extra assistance in a variety of developmental areas, they may suggest this option at a conference. This would not mean that anything is “wrong” with your child, simply that he/she could benefit from the support and expertise provided by the Intermediate Unit. (Phone 717.732.8400, email@example.com, www.caiu.org)
The Preschool encourages parents to learn with their children and would like them to read to their children every day. Free books are available through the Little Free Library (for all ages). The library is located at the front of Trinity Church of Harrisburg.
From time to time, teachers will send home suggested activities that you can do with your child. If you have questions about home activities you could do with your child, please see one of the teachers.
Programs for Parents/Guardians
From time to time, the Preschool offers special programming and/or social events of interest to the children’s parents/guardians (such as plays, songs and holiday parties). Advance notice and information about these programs will be shared with families.
Preschool Family Advisory Council
In an effort to make the Preschool more responsive to parents’ needs, please consider participating in the Preschool Family Advisory Council. This Council is for you to have a say in how the Preschool is run, assist in establishing priorities, as well as help plan Family Nights and other events. Please let Rich Stokes or one of the teachers know if you would like to participate in the Preschool Family Advisory Council.
Trinity Preschool generally follows the holiday schedule for the Harrisburg School District (this does not include teacher in-service days).
For the 2019-20 school year the Preschool will be closed for the following holidays/In-service days:
-Labor Day (Monday, September 2)
-Columbus Day (Monday, October 14)
-Veterans Day (Monday, November 11)
-Parent/teacher conferences (Tuesday, November 12)
-Thanksgiving Break (Wednesday, Thursday & Friday, November 27, 28 & 29)
-Winter Break (Monday, December 23 through Thursday, January 2)
-Martin Luther King Day (Monday, January 20)
-In-Service Day (Friday, February 7)
-President’s Day (Monday, February 17)
-In-Service Day (Friday, March 13
-Spring Break (Thursday, Friday & Monday, April 9, 10 & 13)
-In-Service Day (Friday, May 8)
-Parent/teacher conferences (Friday, May 22)
-Memorial Day, (Monday, May 25)
School Closing Due to Weather
If the Harrisburg School District announces a delay or closing due to weather, the Trinity Preschool will be closed.
If you prefer, you can tune to local television stations CBS Channel 21 or ABC Channel 27 to see “Trinity Preschool” listed among the closings.