Parent Handbook Table of Contents
- School History
- Educational Philosophy
- Trauma-Informed Classroom
- Covid-19 Policy
- Days and Hours of Operation
- Our Staff
- Volunteer Teacher Aides
- Field Trips
- Permission Forms
- Academic School Year Scholarship Information
- Academic School Year Tuition Fee
- Expectations for Drop-Off and Pick-Up
- Attendance Policy
- Contact Information
- Outdoor Policy
- Discipline Policy
- Immunization Policy
- Reporting Child Abuse
- Breakfast and Lunch
- Sickness Guidelines
- Toilet Training Policy
- Parent Teacher Conferences
- Developmental Assistance
- Programs for Parents/Guardians
- School Holidays, In-Service Days and Parent/Teacher Conferences
- 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 two assistant teachers, aided by a dedicated group of trained community volunteers. In January of 2018, the preschool extended its hours of operation from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, in order to better serve the community. We currently operate from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
With the closure of Camp Curtin Mitchell Memorial United Methodist Church in June 2019, the preschool accepted the generous offer of Trinity Church of Harrisburg, 422 Harris Street, Harrisburg to host the preschool, moving to its new location in the fall of 2019 and changing its name to Trinity Preschool: Part of the Camp Curtin Learning Community.
At Trinity Preschool we believe that students should feel that they are valued unconditionally. They receive the guidance, instruction and respect they need to succeed. The key component of our approach is building trust by establishing safe, secure and nurturing relationships with each child and family.
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 an emotionally and physically safe environment.
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.
Covid 19 is a severe illness that surfaced in 2019. Covid-19 is, for now, a fact of life. As we have in the past, we will continue to follow CDC and OCDEL (Office of Child Development and Early Learning) guidelines, which do change from time to time. We require masks from all nonvaccinated members of our community, including staff and parents when inside. Wearing of masks by students and vaccinated staff and volunteers will be optional when the level of Covid, as determined by the CDC in Dauphin County are low (green) or medium (yellow) but will be required by all if the levels reach the high (red). We will continue to sanitize our classrooms regularly. It is very likely that adjustment to this policy will change as the information about Covid changes.
Should you or your child become ill or have a positive Covid test, please notify us as soon as possible so we can determine how to best prevent others from becoming ill. Occasionally, we may have to close the preschool if there is an exposure or case of Covid that puts our students, staff and volunteers at risk. We will, of course, notify you as soon as possible if this happens because we know you count on us in the same way we count on you. Should you have any questions please feel free to get in touch with your student(s) teacher and/or Dr. Ellen Smith (717-579-3349), Trinity Preschool Steering Committee Chair.
Days and Hours of Operation
Trinity Preschool is open from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.pm, Monday through Friday.
Fall Semester: First day of Preschool is Monday, August 29, 2022. The last day of the fall semester is Thursday, December 22, 2022.
Spring Semester: First day of Preschool is Monday, January 2, 2023. The last day of spring semester is Friday, June 2, 2023.
Jennifer Walborn, Head Teacher, is a graduate from Harrisburg Area Community College with an Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education. 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. In her free time, she enjoys being with family, reading, and listening to music. She currently resides in Elizabethville with her husband and two sons. Ms. Jen is very excited to be a part of the Trinity Preschool family, and looks forward to learning and growing with each child, family and co-worker along the way.
Rachael Dudu, Teacher, was born and raised in Uganda and that’s where her family resides. She is married with a 15-year-old son and graduated from Harrisburg Area Community College with an Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education. Her hobbies include having fun with kids, her family and friends, singing, cooking, baking and volunteering at her local church kids programs.
Vanessa Temple, Assistant Teacher, joined our staff in August. She attended Flagler College and worked on her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Elementary Education/Exceptional Education. She has experience working with young children and we’re excited to have her join our team.
Cheyanne Cordero-Vega, Assistant Teacher is the newest member of our teaching team. On February 21 we welcomed her as the new Assistant Teacher in Miss Rachael’s three-year old room. She is married and the mother of four children. Her ambitions are to help children thrive and become the best little human beings they can be. She is very understanding and says “every one of my little friends is special to me.”
All of our staff and volunteers have their child abuse clearances as mandated by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Volunteer Teacher Aides
Rich Stokes, Shirley Marks, Ellen Smith, Carol Lopus, and Ramona French
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)
Our field trip schedule may be modified in accordance with CDC guidelines in order to safely transport our students.
One of the things that makes Trinity Preschool an especially vibrant learning community is our ability to transport our children to many fascinating places including:
Zoo America & Chocolate World
Paulus Farm Market and Petting Zoo
Madeline Olewine Memorial Library
Harrisburg Police Station
Harrisburg Fire Station
Olewine Nature Center at Wildwood Park
Lake Tobias Wildlife Park
Students are secured in approved car seats and driven in the preschool van or in an auxiliary vehicle driven by a teacher or volunteer. Before any trips are undertaken, specific modifications will be detailed in student permission forms.
NOTE: During the summer months, Trinity Preschool offers its students a “Summer Adventure Camp” experience. Details will be provided to families at the end of each school year.
Parent/Guardian signed Permission Forms are required for activities outside of the Trinity Church of Harrisburg.
One blanket Permission Form (included in the Registration Form) must be signed by a parent/guardian at the beginning of each school year that covers all local activities such as walking to local playgrounds, etc.
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, the Susquehanna Street side door to Trinity Church of Harrisburg is opened at 9:50 a.m. and locked at 10:30 a.m. It will remain locked until 2:00 p.m.
Each preschool classroom has two exits/entrances to the outside.
A member of staff accompanies children for restroom visits.
Fire drills are practiced monthly with the children.
Booster seats are used for all field trips.
Academic School Year Scholarship Information
Trinity Preschool is able to provide scholarships for its Preschool Program for qualifying families who wish to enroll their 3 or 4 year old child. Scholarships are available for children of families with combined income of $85,000 or less through the Pennsylvania Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) Pre-Kindergarten Scholarship Program. Eligible families are required to fill out the EITC Pre-Kindergarten Scholarship Application for Families. The Preschool has these forms and can assist you with completing them.
Academic School Year Tuition Fee
Please contact Trinity Preschool for this information.
To enroll your child in our program, the following forms must be completed before or on your child’s first day of school. (Immunization forms must be provided within 30 days of starting school)
Form #1 - Registration Form and Immunization Statement
Note: A current Immunization Statement must be provided to Trinity Preschool by a Physician, Physician’s Assistant, CRNP, Department of Health or a local health department showing the dates the child was administered immunizations. This form must be provided within 30 days of starting school.
Form #2 - Emergency Contact/Parental Consent Form
Note: 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.
Form #3 - EITC Pre-Kindergarten Scholarship Application for Families
(See a. below) and Academic School Year Scholarship Information on Page 6.
Note: A copy of your W2, Federal Tax Return and PA State Return for tax year 2021 may be included with this form OR on the last page of the form you will be asked to sign a verification that your income for 2021 was less than $85,000.
Form #4 - Parent Handbook Verification (parent signature required confirming that the Handbook has been received and read)
All registration forms can be obtained by contacting Ellen Smith at 717.579.3349, firstname.lastname@example.org or Rich Stokes at 717.580.7364, email@example.com.
Expectations for Drop-Off and Pick-Up
A parent or designated person must accompany their child to their classroom and sign them in for the school day by 10:00 a.m. It is very important that you for the beginning of the 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.
At 1:55 p.m. your child will be ready and waiting for pickup inside at the Susquehanna Street entrance. Please be prompt for your child’s pickup. Teachers and volunteers have personal responsibilities and cannot be asked or expected to stay late.
Unless your child is sick, it is important that he/she attend preschool most days. Daily lessons build upon each other, and missing school puts your child at a disadvantage and decreases your child’s learning opportunities. 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.
Contacting the school…. If your child is not able to attend school for any reason, please contact Miss Jen or Miss Rachael. To contact Miss Jen, call or text 717-612-8073 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. To contact Miss Rachael, call or text 717-712-4217 or email email@example.com.
The school contacting you…. please let us know of any phone or address changes as soon as they occur. It is 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.
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 our 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. Additional information about our philosophy/behavior plan may be requested from your child’s teacher
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.
Under no circumstances will we use physical means to discipline children. Discipline will not be associated with food, rest or toileting.
Within 30 days of enrollment, the parent or legal guardian must provide an up-to-date written verification from a licensed health care provider 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 Preschool will retain a copy for its files.
Immunization schedules for 2022 are available on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website.
Note: If you have chosen not to immunize your child due to strongly held religious convictions, we will ask you to sign a Consent For No Immunizations By Parent/Guardian form.
Reporting Child Abuse
Trinity Preschool is committed to providing a safe, secure and nurturing environment for its students. All Trinity Preschool employees and volunteers are mandatory reporters and will immediately make an oral and/or electronic report to ChildLine when there is reasonable cause to suspect that a child is a victim of child abuse.
Breakfast and Lunch
The Central Pennsylvania Food Bank provides breakfast and lunch for our children. Breakfast generally consists of cereal/muffin, milk, juice and fruit. Linch generally consists of a sandwich, vegetable, fruit, and milk. Breakfast is
Please inform the teachers of any dietary needs or restrictions 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 101.4 or higher, please keep him or her home. Our policy is that your child must remain free of fever without medication for 48 hours before returning to the preschool.
Diarrhea and/or Vomiting: A child will be sent home if this occurs. Diarrhea and/or vomiting may be due to illness and is highly contagious. If your child has diarrhea and/or vomiting, please keep him/her home for 48 hours before returning to the preschool.
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.
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 or pull-ups prior to being enrolled in Trinity Preschool.
We ask that the child be able to communicate to the teacher or teacher assistant when he/she needs to use the toilet and independently attend to him/herself completely.
Teacher or teacher assistant will accompany your 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 or teacher assistant 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. Child will not be able to return until he/she is fully toilet trained.
Parent Teacher Conferences
Parents/guardians are encouraged to communicate at any time throughout the year. Additionally, 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. Cooperation in this effort is vital and always a priority for us. If you are interested in an additional meeting, lease contact your child’s teacher.
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, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.caiu.org)
The Preschool encourages parents to learn with their children and we invite you to read to your child 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 your child’s teacher.
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). Advanced notice and information about these programs will be shared with families.
School Holidays, In-Service Days and Parent/Teacher Conferences
August 29 (First Student Day)
September 5 (Labor Day)
September 23 (Teacher In-Service Day)
October 10 (Indigenous Peoples Day)
November 11 (Veterans Day)
November 22–25 (Thanksgiving Break)
December 22, 23 and 26-30 (Winter Break)
January 16 (Martin Luther King, Jr. Day)
February 3 (Teacher In-Service Day)
February 20 (Presidents Day)
March 10 (Teacher In-Service Day)
April 6, 7, 10 (Spring Break)
April 21 (Eid-al-Fitr)
May 29 (Memorial Day)
June 2 (Last Student Day)
School Closing Due to Weather
In case of inclement weather, check Trinity Preschool’s Facebook page. You will also receive a text message notifying you of closing or delay.