Admissions

The Schoolhouse employs a multi-age approach in the classroom. Children age three attend three days/week, children age four attend four days/week, and children age five attend 5 days/week. All students attend from 9am to 1pm and pack a lunch.

Families interested in attending The Children’s Schoolhouse are encouraged to schedule a tour of the school.

Registration / Lottery
Children enrolled in The Children’s Schoolhouse must be three years old by August 31st and be fully potty trained. Children age three shall be allotted three days/week, children age four shall be allotted four days/week, and children age five shall be allotted 5 days/week.

Priority Registration
Priority registration for the 2021-2022 preschool year is February 1, 2021 thru February 12, 2021.

Open enrollment for the 2021-2022 preschool year is February 13, 2021 thru February 28, 2021.

The following groups are given priority in the registration process, a lottery will be held if the Schoolhouse receives more applications than openings.
1. All children currently enrolled in the Schoolhouse
2. Siblings of currently enrolled schoolhouse children
3. Alumni children previously enrolled in the Schoolhouse and Siblings of previously enrolled children

All families wishing to take advantage of their priority status must submit their registration application before the lottery. A priority family cannot bump a new student from enrollment if they communicate their intention concerning registration after the lottery.

Print the Preschool Application for Enrollment for 2021-2022 here

Additional Admissions Information
There is a $100 non-refundable application fee for a child that has never attended the Schoolhouse and a $75 non-refundable fee for returning students that is due with the application. This fee will be refunded to families not admitted during the lottery process. Tuition deposit equal to 1 month of your child’s preschool tuition is due in March.

Lottery System
A lottery will be held if the Schoolhouse receives more applications than openings. Once the sequence for priority registration has been completed, new families to The Children’s Schoolhouse will fill the remaining places through a lottery system. All families who have submitted a registration application by the day of the lottery will be included in the lottery. Families are encouraged to attend a tour prior to submitting a registration application. Families with more than one child entering the lottery will have more than one name entered but both children will be admitted if the name should be drawn. The waiting list will be kept until the next admission period to fill vacancies and to handle the waiting list priority.

The Children’s Schoolhouse believes that positive interaction among children of various backgrounds during pre-school years are important. The Children’s Schoolhouse has always endorsed and sought to enroll a student mix of gender, age and ethnic origin. In an attempt to achieve this mix, the Board has implemented a policy of seeking at least 10% culturally diverse and special economic needs students within the total enrollment. For The Children’s Schoolhouse to maintain an environment in which the student/teacher ration is compliant with the Schoolhouse philosophy, a 8:1 student/adult ratio or better will be upheld with the maximum number of children per day not to exceed twenty-eight. If through the Lottery or waiting list procedure, a situation arises (i.e. multiple children from one family) which causes admissions to exceed 28/day, the Admissions Committee will consult the Board. Final decision concerning the classroom size will be determined by the Board. The Board has also advised that a 50:50 ratio be achieved between boys and girls and between three and four-year-olds. Therefore, age, gender, ethnic origin and economic background may be determining factors in the child’s placement at The Children’s Schoolhouse in order to achieve this mix.

Lottery participants offered admission will receive registration forms with their notification that must be returned to the Admissions Chairperson by the specified date. If a family chosen from the Lottery declines, every effort will be made to replace the child with a child of the same gender and age. If a child is admitted later than through the waiting list, the family will be contacted first by telephone and then sent a registration form. These forms should be returned within two weeks to the Admissions Chairperson. If an opening occurs after June 1st, the Admissions Chair is given the authority by the Board of Directors to fill the available slots in the best interest of the cooperative (i.e. by whether the parent can take the offered volunteer opportunity). If a family declines enrollment because of the specific volunteer opportunities, they may choose to move to the end of the waiting list.

Non-Discrimination Policy
It is the policy of The Children’s Schoolhouse not to discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, age, sex, disability, sexual orientation, or national and ethnic origin in its educational programs, admissions policies, employment, and general policies.

 CSH Covid-19 Guidelines and Policies

These guidelines rely on the current Covid-19 circumstances, CDC and NC guidelines for Preschools, and the Strong School NC Public Health Toolkit dated June 8, 2020. We realize the Coronavirus situation can change quickly and we are prepared to be flexible and adapt these guidelines as necessary. This document details overall guidelines for the CSH community. While rapidly changing, current scientific consensus is that Covid-19 is mostly spread by respiratory droplets released when people talk, cough, or sneeze. The virus may spread to hands from a contaminated surface then to the nose or mouth, causing infection. In addition to keeping surfaces cleaned and disinfected, it is believed that staying distanced and outside lowers the risk of transmission. We also took into consideration the feedback from our community. The majority of people expressed their desire for CSH to run as normally as possible while prioritizing the health and safety of our children and our teachers. Parents wanted reasonable precautions such as spending extra time outside whenever possible, but did not expect 6 feet of separation at all times for such young children. Furthermore, the general consensus was to not require facemasks for the children. This is not to say that a student can’t wear a mask – we want everyone to do what makes them feel safe. We recognize and honor that families have different needs and different levels of comfort. Teachers and Parent Volunteers will not be expected to wear masks when outside and distanced from others, but will wear masks when taking children indoors or in times where they are not able to be distanced. We ask that our families and staff members self-identify as high risk for severe illness due to Covid-19 and discuss with the Teacher ways CSH can help to keep you safe that may be above and beyond these guidelines. 

 We will follow all State and local mandates. If something described in our guidelines or in one of our plans contradicts a State or local mandate, we will adhere to the mandate and revise our guidelines and plans accordingly. 

 Whole School Guidelines:

  • Students and teachers will be outside as much as possible.  Our curriculum is being adjusted to increase our focus on outdoor learning.
  •  We will keep all windows and doors open as much as possible to allow fresh air to come inside.
  • Students, teachers, and volunteers will sanitize their hands upon entering the building, before using materials, before eating, and when leaving.
  •  No visitors/parents/volunteers will be inside the school except when necessary (inspections, emergency repairs, etc.). All parents, visitors, and volunteers must wear a mask at the school and may require a temp check. School tours will be limited to after hours.
  • Teachers and volunteers will keep a mask and a pair of disposable gloves on their person at all times and follow cleaning and disinfecting protocols (see below).
  • Students and teachers will follow the lunch and food protocols (see below).
  • Our water fountain will only be used to fill water bottles or cups when needed. Students should bring a full water bottle to school to limit the need to refill at school.
  • Students will have their temperature checked using a No Touch Infrared Forehead Thermometer upon arriving at school as long as NC and CDC guidelines require it. If a student has a temperature of over 100.4, that child will be asked to go home, and follow the sick policy for returning to school (see below). Teachers will wear disposable gloves during the temperature check and will sanitize hands following school drop-off.
  • Teachers and volunteers will wear masks when indoors or when unable to socially distance and will wear disposable gloves during times where exposure risk is elevated (dealing with a sick child, etc.)
  • CSH will post signage at entrances requesting that people who have been symptomatic with fever and/or cough not to enter.
  • Parents who wish to keep their children after school to play on the playground will no longer come through the building and must sanitize hands before entering school property.

CSH Sick Policy:

  • Symptoms of illness include but are not limited to fever, diarrhea, vomiting, sore throat, nausea, excessive coughing, excessive mucus or nasal congestion, yellow or green nasal mucus, headache, laryngitis, lethargy, glassy-eyed, excessively or unusually fussiness, and general low energy.
  • Students, faculty, and parents should not come to school if they are showing any symptoms of illness and should not come to school for at least 24 hours after symptoms of illness end without the help of medications. We ask that parents help keep our community healthy by strictly adhering to this policy.
  • Students, teachers, and parents who show symptoms of illness at school will be asked to leave immediately. Staff will be diligent about observing students at school and calling parents if symptoms are seen.

In addition, for the 2020-2021 school year:

If a student or teacher exhibits Covid-19 symptoms (including fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, or diarrhea), they must stay home. We strongly encourage that person to get a Covid-19 test as this will help limit the spread through our CSH community and will determine the protocol CSH will follow. If a student, parent, or teacher exhibits Covid-19 symptoms at school, they will be asked to leave immediately. Students with symptoms at school will be made comfortable and will be isolated in the building or outside while they wait to be picked up. The student will remain under the supervision of an adult who is 6 feet away if whenever possible and wearing a mask.

If a student, teacher, or parent volunteer is diagnosed with Covid-19 by a medical professional based on a test or their symptoms:

  • The school will notify local health authorities of a confirmed Covid-19 case.
  • The school will close and students will learn-at-home for at least 2 weeks to see if any other person starts with symptoms, and will continue learning- at-home until we have two weeks with no new cases.

We will adhere to the following process for allowing a student, teacher, or parent volunteer to return to school.

  •  If a person has had a negative Covid-19 test, they can return to school once there is no fever without the use of fever-reducing medicines and they have felt well for 24 hours.
  • They may return when the family can answer YES to the following three questions:
    • Has it been at least 10 days since the individual first had symptoms?
    • Has it been at least 3 days since the individual had a fever (without using fever-reducing medicine)?
    • Has it been at least 3 days since the individual’s symptoms have improved including cough and shortness of breath?

If a student, teacher, or parent volunteer has been diagnosed with Covid-19 but does not have symptoms, they must remain out of school until 10 days have passed since the date of their first positive Covid-19 diagnostic test, assuming they have not subsequently developed symptoms since their positive test.

If a student, family of a student, or teacher has been determined to have been in close contact with someone diagnosed with Covid-19, the teacher, student and/or parent volunteer should stay home for 14 days since the last date of exposure to monitor for symptoms. The student or faculty member may return if no symptoms appear. They must complete the full 14 days of quarantine even if they test negative.

A student may be home from school for a prolonged time if he or she has been determined to have been in close contact with someone diagnosed with Covid-19 or has been diagnosed as having Covid-19 by a medical professional. If either of these scenarios happens, the student will follow the guidelines for returning to school as detailed above. 

 For Staff only: There is no limit on sick days to encourage faculty to stay home when not feeling well.

Cleaning and Sanitizing Protocols

We will be using an EPA-approved COVID-19 disinfectant made using 70% isopropyl alcohol and essential oils on a daily basis following the CDC guidelines.  For some high-touch surfaces, we will be using diluted bleach made in small batches.  We will make every effort to use the least toxic hand sanitizer available at all times and will continue to prioritize safe and nontoxic cleaning protocols that meet CDC guidelines for disinfectants.  Disposable gloves will be used when cleaning high touch areas and toys.

Food and Eating Protocols

  • CSH will not do shared snacks for the 2020-2021 calendar year, and parents must provide their children with a snack in addition to lunch.
  • We have ample outside seating to facilitate safe mealtimes. We will limit picnic tables to 6 students. 
  • Students are not allowed to share food.

Field Trips

  • Extra precautions will be taken in planning and implementing all field trips.
  • We will only do outdoor field trips for 2020-2021. 
  • We will ensure that the facility is taking safety precautions, such as keeping school groups apart, sanitizing between groups, etc.

Community Events

CSH has a strong community component as a part of our school philosophy. Given the current state of COVID-19, we will not be gathering as an entire school until the CDC and North Carolina have provided guidance that it is safe to do so. Rather, we will create opportunities where small groups can take part in our school traditions.  For example, the art show will be outside, and may occur in blocks with time to sanitize between.

After School Socializing

To facilitate relationships between families, we will continue to allow families to stay after school. After school socializations should only occur on days where the child is enrolled to limit numbers, and families must socially distance.  Entering the building should be for restroom use only. If the restrooms are used, families are responsible for wiping down high touch surfaces with CSH disinfectant before leaving for the day. 

Classroom Plans

CSH has planned according to the guidance given in the Strong School NC Public Health Toolkit dated June 8, 2020. As this document recommends, we are using the guidelines that apply and are reasonable for CSH given our facility, community, and needs. Fortunately, our class sizes this year are already usually about half of what our traditional class size is. We also have easily accessible outside spaces we can utilize for teaching, individual work, and eating.

For each class, we have thought through plans A, B, C, and D. We plan to maintain flexibility through all levels. Having a well thought out plan will help us with this flexibility and being able to implement a new level quickly, but in general, we will not know all details of how things will flow until we live it.

Plan A is minimal distancing and our state declaring Phase 4 reopening along with a change in CDC guidelines and school guidelines to allow for reduced distancing. It entails minimal changes from the “normal” and the most flexibility with protocols and procedures.

 

Plan B incorporates increased distancing and safety protocols, with less flexibility in following the guidelines. Plan B relies heavily on being outside for safety. During rainy days, we will continue to be outside so please help your child dress for the weather. We also encourage parents to determine whether their child would be better (safer, more comfortable, etc.) kept at home. As Plan B relies heavily on outside space to keep students distanced, school will be closed during dangerous weather (high winds, torrential rains, hurricanes, thunder and lightning). We feel that this is a reasonable compromise in order to keep all students at school each day and CSH open. If severe weather is forecasted, please check your email and Remind for closures.

 

Plan C is reduced in-person lessons. Families are encouraged to only participate if you feel your child will remain safe and you are comfortable with your child participating in face-to-face lessons given the circumstances happening in the wider community at that time. If we implement Plan C as outlined and a child opts out, we will not be able to provide alternate plans for each student/family. Incorporated into Plan C is time for young students to socialize outside in small groups (3 or 4 students) as this is a large part of their cognitive development at that age. If your child has planned social time and weather is dangerous, the social time will be canceled. Furthermore, we will try to coordinate appointments at the school across children within a family the best we can but this  cannot be guaranteed.

 

Plan D is total remote learning (learning-at-home). This plan will be used if a staff member or student at CSH is diagnosed by a medical professional with Covid-19. If this happens, the school will close and students will have some online opportunities for socialization, story time, etc., for at least 2 weeks to see if any other person starts with symptoms, and we will continue learning-at-home until we have two weeks with no new cases. This plan will also be used if required by State or local mandates.

We will follow all State and local mandates during all of these plans. If something described in one of our plans contradicts a State or local mandate, we will adhere to the mandate and revise our plan accordingly.

Also included in each classroom plan outlined below are ways that we are getting the inside and outside learning environments ready for the school year.

Primary Class Plans

Plan A

School will resume as normally as possible.  Increased cleaning and sanitizing, no-shared snack, and an emphasis on outdoor play, learning, and eating will continue. 

Plan B

Mandatory outside circle for the majority if not all of the school day.

Small groups will be formed and maintained for indoor activities. The small groups will rotate through inside materials and outside the primary classroom. All eating and most learning will occur outdoors.

During rain, students will still be outside, but with additional shelter in the form of a tent.

 Plan C

Students will rotate in half-sized groups and reduce the number of days they are attending.  The sessions will be held outdoors, and a safe distance will be maintained. If weather is dangerous, these sessions will be cancelled. Some at-home-learning suggestions will also be given.

Plan D

A combination of small group and ideas for home-based activities will be used (will vary by week). 

 

Improvements to Primary Learning Space

  • Addition of screen doors with latch for increased air circulation.
  • Doors will remain open with fans for air circulation.
  • Changes will be made to increase the materials and activities available outside the classroom. For example, art easels and sensory tables will be moved outdoors.
  • Additional tables will be bought for outside work as needed.
  • Sturdy tent to increase covered space.
  • The outdoor playhouse will be improved to increase opportunities for imaginative play outside.
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