GENERAL INFORMATION


The School of Grace is an incorporated, non-profit, half-day, Christian Preschool serving children ages six months through five years.

MISSION STATEMENT

The purpose of The School of Grace is to empower children and families to reach their greatest potential and to enjoy the richness of the preschool years.

The school offers a safe, nurturing, Christian environment for young children. The curriculum is enhanced by a multi-cultural focus, guided by the knowledge of how children learn. The child-centered philosophy aims to facilitate positive self-esteem and a joy of learning. The intentional blending of children of diverse neighborhoods, cultures, religions, races and abilities will promote understanding and acceptance of differences. Each child’s faith will be nourished through the exploration and celebration of the world which God created.

Children learn through developmentally appropriate experiences based on physical, emotional, social and cognitive development, with an integrated approach. Emphasis is placed on learning as an interactive process including hands-on exploration and experiences with adults and children of varying abilities. Children enjoy a wide range of concrete, real and relevant materials and activities.

Parents assume an empowered leadership role in the school. Opportunities are available for all parents to serve on a parent majority governing board, or a variety of committees, learning the skills necessary to advocate for their child’s education.

Parents are responsible for serving as helping parents in the classroom on a regular, consistent basis, learning parenting skills from one another.

The School of Grace follows curriculum guidelines established by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, a benchmark for excellence in preschools.

The School of Grace was founded as a mission by Grace Lutheran Church in direct correlation with the church’s purpose statement.

PHILOSOPHY

We at The School of Grace believe that children are individuals who are active, avid learners and are deserving of respect and love. We believe that children are citizens of their environment and that learning stems from all that surrounds them. This environment within the school setting includes play, social and peer interactions, speech and language development, cognitive skills, social – emotional development, worship, reverence, appreciation and respect for nature.

We believe children should have guided, hands-on learning, which we feel will help the child become more independent and self-sufficient. Children will also be encouraged to make choices within limits.

We are adamant believers in the use of positive discipline where each child can learn to take responsibility for his or her actions. We believe children should be given enough opportunities for appropriate behavior to discourage inappropriate behavior. We strongly advise modeling the appropriate behavior and mannerisms that we expect each age group of children to follow. Expectations are varied depending on age level.

The School of Grace believes in being in tune with its families, encouraging friendships, parental involvement and active participation. We believe children to be the sole purpose of our center and for them we dedicate our time, energy and love!

ADMISSIONS / CLASSES

The School of Grace is comfortable in the knowledge that with our small class size, and our low student to teacher ratio, we will be able to offer all of our students an enriched, nurturing, extended family atmosphere. We believe strongly in the benefits of family and multi-aged grouping.

The School of Grace strives for integration of children with varying physical abilities and ethnic backgrounds. The School of Grace does not discriminate with regard to race, creed, color, national, religious, or ethnic origin

Once registration opens for the upcoming year, students are enrolled in the following order.

1.    Currently enrolled
2.    Siblings of children enrolled
3.    Grace Lutheran Church Members
4.    Public-at-Large

We reserve the right to keep a balanced boy/girl ratio.

Children with identified special needs will be assessed on an individual basis, in consultation with parents and other professionals. Individual assessment of the child includes an interview with the Director.

Continued evaluation of students in all our classes ensures that children are appropriately placed in the program according to need, and are being served in a developmentally appropriate way.

Separation

We recognize our limitation as individuals and as a preschool. As much as we would like to meet all children’s needs, we realize there are some children whose needs, whether behavioral, emotional, or physical are beyond our abilities and resources. In consultation with parents, we will work with the family to ensure the best possible separation and transition of the child from our school to another situation.

FEES

As a non-profit organization, the preschool operates within a budget determined by the tuition and fees it collects. Without the timely payment of tuition and fees by our families, we cannot operate effectively and efficiently. We depend on parents making prompt payments, so that the time and energy of our staff and director can be concentrated on the children. There is a non-refundable yearly registration fee equal to one month’s tuition.


Late fees are described in the Tuition Agreement section

Registration Information

The School of Grace is a half-day, Christian, Parent Participatory Preschool serving children ages 6 months through 5 years. The preschool operates from September through May.

*The School of Grace reserves one place in each class for a Special Needs Child. In order to qualify as such, an active IFSP (for children 6 mos. to 2 yrs.) or an IEP (3-5 yrs.) must be in place. We support and encourage parents to seek out the services provided by Wake County through Health and Human Resources or Project Enlightenment.

Please Note:

  • Registration fees are not applicable to tuition and are non-refundable.
  • September tuition is due at Parent Orientation in August.

TUITION AGREEMENT

At the beginning of each year, parents sign a form in agreement with the following policy.

Tuition rates are decided during the previous year by the membership. Arrangements must be made with the Director for alternate financial arrangements.

Agreement Conditions

I agree to make monthly tuition payments on or before the first of each month. If the first of the month falls on a holiday or weekend, I will make the payment on the first day that my child returns to school. Payment is past due after 12:15 on the fifth of each month. I agree that if my payment is not received by closing time (12:15 p.m.) on the fifth of each month, I will pay a $15.00 late fee. I understand that my child’s enrollment will be forfeited if I do not make payments or financial arrangements with the Director by the fifth of the next month. A re-enrollment fee of $25.00 will be charged to re-enroll him/her in the preschool.

I agree to give a two-week notice before withdrawing my child from The School of Grace.

I understand that a $20.00 fee will be charged for checks returned for insufficient funds, or any other reason.

I understand and agree to pay a $10.00 late fee for every 15 minute time period that I am late picking my child up from the school.

I understand that even if my child is absent, fees and tuition must be paid in order to reserve his or her space in the preschool. No credits, allowances, or decreased fees will be given in the event of an absence.

INCLEMENT WEATHER POLICY

In case of inclement weather, please tune in to a local news source.

When the Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) closes due to inclement weather, either prior to school opening or during the school day, The School of Grace (SoG) will also close. If there is an exception to this, notification will be sent through email and posted on Twitter/Facebook, whenever possible.

If WCPSS has a one hour delayed opening, SoG will open one hour later.
If WCPSS has a two hour delayed opening, SoG will open two hours later.
If WCPSS has a three hour delayed opening, SoG will open two hours later.

*Whenever possible, SoG delays and closings will be emailed to current families and posted on Twitter/ Facebook.
*During the year, SoG will attempt to make up at least two days missed due to inclement weather.

If SoG closes early, a Staff member will remain at school until the last child is picked up.

If bad weather develops while your child is at school, you are encouraged to pick up your child. You do not need to call The School of Grace for permission.

WCPSS school closings are announced on local television and radio stations.

APPROPRIATE DRESS

We believe that children should not be restricted in their ability to explore the world because of their clothes.

Slick soled shoes are difficult to run, climb and balance in.

Dresses without shorts underneath may flip over your child’s head at the most inopportune time.

Cowboy boots are fun, but not conducive to safety and total enjoyment of the playground.

We recommend rubber-soled shoes and clothes that can stand a spill or two. Please watch the weather forecast carefully and send sweaters, coats and hats when appropriate. We will go outside every day, sometimes even when it is raining.

It will be necessary for you to provide a change of clothes that is appropriate for the season, to be kept at the school. Remember to include socks with this change of clothes and water shoes during warm weather.

Accidents and spills can happen easily. It is very helpful when children’s clothes allow them to dress and undress themselves. In our effort to teach self-sufficiency, easy buttoning and zipping make toileting a simpler task.

Bags and Backpacks

Children will need a bag with handles. Open cloth or canvas bags or backpacks are appropriate. Please label the bag with your child’s name in an obvious place. These will come home filled with art projects, letters to parents and sometimes items the teacher did not send home! (Please return these items as soon as you discover them.) Check their bags as soon as they get home.

SNACKS

The Helping Parent and Child provide Snack. Please provide enough food for the children, teachers and helping parent. During snack time the adults model appropriate table manners and child-centered conversation. The School of Grace snack program offers a variety of nutritious food and beverages in creative and educational ways. Often children will try something at school that they would not have eaten at home. We encourage child participation as much as possible. When you provide snack, involve your own child in selecting and preparing the class snack. If you enjoy cooking, you may plan to do a cooking experience during class time after consulting with the teacher.

Food Components

All snacks must contain at least two of the following components:

  • A 1/2 cup serving of fluid milk.
  • Meat or meat alternative (cheese, egg, peanut butter, beans).
  • Vegetables and/or fruit, or 100 % fruit or vegetable juice. Juice may not be served when milk is the only other component.
  • Whole grain or enriched bread, cornbread, biscuits, rolls, muffins, etc.; or cooked whole grain or enriched pasta or noodle products; or cereal grains, such as rice, bulgar, or corn grits.

Other foods may also be served, but they must be in addition to the required components. For example, cupcakes may be served for a birthday along with milk and fruit. Any food that a child may choke on should be avoided, such as nuts, hard candy or popcorn.

Menu Information for Parents

Each person providing snack should record what was served that day on the snack calendar posted on the parent bulletin board.

Food Storage and Preparation

Food must be stored and refrigerated appropriately. Only original sealed (unopened) juice and milk containers should be used. Children bringing individual snacks may use thermoses. Milk must be dated and may not be served past the “freshness date”. Fruits and vegetables must be washed thoroughly. All leftover food must be labeled with the date and class, then stored in The School of Grace refrigerator, located in the storage room adjacent to the cloud room.

Helping parents, staff, volunteers and children must wash hands before preparing, serving or eating food. Plastic utensils must be disposed of after use and not reused.

Kitchen Policy

All items in the kitchen belong to the church. Clean and return to them to their original place. Appliances used should be wiped clean. Dishes and utensils should be cleaned in the following manner: 1.) Wash in HOT soapy water, 2.) Rinse, 3.) Disinfect by dipping in a bleach/water solution. Bleach, measuring scoop and bucket are stored on top of the School of Grace refrigerator, 4.) Air dry in dish drainer, 5.) If dry before the close of school, please return items to their original location. Clean all spills in the kitchen, storage room and refrigerator.

SNACK SUGGESTIONS

When planning snack the top priorities are: Keep it simple and healthy! Please remember that sweets are reserved for special occasions and must be pre-approved by the teacher. Sweets must be accompanied by healthy snack choices.

Vegetables (served alone or with a dip)
Carrot sticks, broccoli, pickle spears, cauliflower, green beans, cucumber, Cherry tomatoes (halved), avocado

Dairy Products
Grilled cheese sandwiches, cottage cheese-with or without fruit, deviled eggs-add a face using raisins,
yogurt or frozen yogurt, hardboiled eggs, egg salad sandwiches, cheese (American, cheddar, etc.)

Fruits
Apples, applesauce, pears, Peaches, mandarin oranges, grapes, blueberries, honeydew melon,
fruit juice, 100% fruit popsicles, oranges, fruit cocktail, watermelon, strawberries, cherries, cantaloupe,
kiwi, banana, pineapple

Meats
Small meatballs or other bite sized pieces of meat, chicken or turkey nuggets,
tuna fish (sandwiches or on crackers), tacos

Breads and Cereals
Toast, saltines, cooked pasta, banana bread, corn muffins , bagels, pretzel rods, graham crackers, biscuits , muffins-bran or blueberry, cheese bread or toast, zwieback

Snacks Involving Advance or Classtime Preparation
Apples cored and stuffed with peanut butter, raisins, granola, etc., celery stuffed with cheese,
cream cheese, peanut butter, mini pizzas, fruit and cheese kabobs, French toast or waffles topped with cinnamon and honey, peanut butter or jelly

Cooking Experiences (Please have these approved by the teacher prior to your Helping Parent day)
applesauce, quick breads, mini pizzas, grilled sandwiches, fruit or milk shakes, biscuits or muffins

Beverages
Milk, water, 100% fruit juice, NO soft drinks, sugared drinks or drinks containing caffeine.