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Keller Independent School District

2015 - 2016

KELC Parent Handbook

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Keller Early Learning Center

10310 Old Denton Road

Ft. Worth, TX 76244

(817)744-6700

Cultivating the hearts and minds of our early learners!

ASSURANCE OF NONDISCRIMINATION

Keller ISD does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sex, or disability in providing education services, activities, and programs, including vocational programs, in accordance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended; Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972; and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended.

The following district staff members have been designated to coordinate compliance with these legal requirements:

  • Title IX Coordinator, for concerns regarding discrimination on the basis of sex:

Penny Benz

Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources

350 Keller Parkway, Keller, TX 76248

(817) 744-1000

  • Section 504 Coordinator, for concerns regarding discrimination on the basis of disability:

Charles Carroll

Chief Academic Officer

350 Keller Parkway, Keller, TX 76248

(817) 744-1000

  • All other concerns regarding discrimination:

Dr. Randy Reid

Superintendent

350 Keller Parkway, Keller, TX 76248

(817) 744-1000

All complaints shall be handled through established channels and procedures beginning with the building principal, followed by appeal to the appropriate central administration contact, and finally the board of trustees, in accordance with Policy FNG.

If you need the assistance of the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) of the Department of Education, the address of the OCR Regional Office that covers Texas is:

Dallas Office

Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education

1999 Bryan Street, Suite 1620

Dallas, TX 75201-6810

Telephone: (214) 661-9600

Facsimile: (214) 661-9587

Email: OCR.Dallas@ed.gov

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Mission Statement

Through a collaborative partnership with Early Learning Center families and the KISD Community, we are dedicated to providing a nurturing and safe environment with engaging educational opportunities designed to empower all students to grow and develop to their fullest potential.

Vision and Values

KELC - An exceptional learning community supporting the development of the whole child.

  • We believe every child deserves to learn in a caring, child-centered environment where individual abilities are fostered and developed each day.

  • We invite parent, community, and staff collaboration to build a strong foundation of support for all learners

  • We search-out innovative, engaging, research-based strategies which enhance instruction.

  • We implement data-based decision-making focused upon meeting student needs.

  • We promote excellence in all KELC functions and processes.

Early Learning Center Philosophy

The Keller Early Learning Center reflects the belief that children are active learners and solution seekers. They build meaning and deep understanding through full participation in their learning environments. Our child-centered programs combine high expectations for each student while continuing to respect individual development.

Each program at the Keller Early Learning Center has been developed within the Texas Education Agency Guidelines. This facility is uniquely adapted to meet the needs of our early childhood learners.

The Texas Prekindergarten Guidelines, developed by the Texas Education Agency, include Language and Early Literacy, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Fine Arts, Physical Development, Health and Safety, Personal/Social Development, and Technology Applications.

[Page Break]Welcome!

It is with great pleasure that I welcome you to the Keller Early Learning Center! The faculty and staff at the Early Learning Center are committed to creating a positive and innovative learning environment promoting social and emotional well-being, as well as creating a foundation for academic success.  Research supports a quality early education program to empower students as lifelong learners.  It is our mission to value this stage of our children’s lives and I look forward to sharing this time with you and your family.

Sincerely,

Christy Johnson, M.Ed.

Principal

The Keller Early Learning Center provides a half-day program for all general education and special education students enrolled in early childhood programs in Keller ISD.

General Education Programs

General education students who are eligible for the Pre-Kindergarten program must be 4 years of age by September 1st and must meet one of the following eligibility guidelines:

1.) Qualify as an ESL or Bilingual student,

2.) Align with state income requirements for Free/Reduced Lunch Program,

3.) Have a parent who is an active duty member of the armed forces, has been injured or killed while on active duty, or

4.) Is or ever has been in the conservatorship of the Dept. of Family and Protective

Services or Foster Care

5.) Homeless

Pre-Kindergarten:

Students who qualify for Pre-K receive instruction that follows T.E.A. Prekindergarten Curriculum Guidelines which include the following skill domains: social and emotional development; language and communication; emergent literacy reading; emergent literacy writing; mathematics; science; social studies; fine arts; physical development and technology.

Bi-lingual Spanish &Vietnamese Pre-K:

Students who qualify for Pre-K whose home language is Spanish or Vietnamese, may qualify to participate in a bi-lingual classroom where instruction is offered in both the home language and in English.

Special Education Programs

Students with disabilities attending the Keller Early Learning Center receive a wide array of services designed to meet their individual educational needs. Eligible three and four-year-old students who qualify to attend PPCD, STACC-P, and TALK programs for early childhood attend school at the Keller Early Learning Center. Testing is required to enroll in these programs.    

PPCD:

The Preschool Program for Children with Disabilities (PPCD) is designed for students ages three and four. These classes are designed to provide instruction for students with delays in cognition, communication, psychomotor, self-care and social-emotional areas. To qualify for PPCD, a student must exhibit a severe delay in one or more areas, or a moderate delay in two or more areas.

STACC-P:

Structured Teaching Alternative Communication Classroom, Pre-K (STACC-P) classes are designed to provide a highly structured instructional program for students with Autism Spectrum disorders, or other disabilities, whose academic, communication and behavioral needs cannot be met in other settings.

TALK:

The Teaching Articulation and Language to Kids (TALK) program provides walk-in speech therapy services for eligible students, ages 3 and 4 with severe articulation, phonological, and language disorders.

PPCD-4 Inclusion Opportunities

The PPCD-4 self-contained classroom is designed for qualifying students who need a significant amount of one-on-one and/or small-group intervention as determined by their Individual Education Plan (IEP). Instruction is delivered by a certified special education (PPCD) teacher with the support of a teacher assistant. These students receive inclusion opportunities with general education Pre-K students during co-curricular classes (P.E., music, and library) and during special events. Students who qualify may also receive some inclusion time in a general Pre-K classroom during their instructional day. The PPCD-4 teacher and/or teacher assistant will accompany students during inclusion time to offer support and collect data on student progress.

Qualifying PPCD students may participate in full-inclusion through the Pre-K Integrated classroom. General education Pre-K students and PPCD students collaborate throughout the instructional day. Utilizing the least restrictive environment, a Pre-K teacher and a PPCD teacher deliver instruction through an interactive team-teaching approach using two connecting classrooms with support from two teacher assistants. All PPCD students in the Pre-K integrated classroom continue to receive individualized instruction and related services as determined by their Individual Education Plan (IEP), which is implemented and monitored by the PPCD teacher. Appropriate accommodations are implemented within the instructional setting in support of the transition to kindergarten.

General Information

Early childhood classes will be held in two sessions each day. Your child will be enrolled in either a morning or afternoon class. Parent/Guardian preference is considered, but enrollment numbers and transportation schedules will be the deciding factor when placing a student in a morning or afternoon session. Students attending the KELC follow the same school calendar as other KISD students. Any changes to your child’s schedule require administrative approval according to district guidelines.

Class Schedule

  • Morning Classes ……………..8:00 – 11:00 am

  • Afternoon Classes…………..12:15 – 3:15 pm

Early Release Schedule

  • Morning Classes………………8:00 – 10:00 am

  • Afternoon Classes………….10:15 – 12:15 pm

Attendance is Critical to Your Child’s Success!

Attendance is one of the most important factors in a student’s academic success. Students who come to school on time, prepared to learn are in a great position to be successful.

According to state law and Board policy, once a student is enrolled in public school, he/she is required to be in attendance at least 90% of the days classes are offered. If a student misses more than 10% of the days of school (18 days), he/she is subject to possible consequences or interventions to improve attendance and achievements. A district letter will be mailed home when your child has reached 5 or more absences.

*Note: Students who are not in their classroom by 8:00 am and 12:15 pm are considered tardy.

What if my child needs to miss school?

We ask that you please call our main office number at (817)744-6700 and/or send a note when your child must be absent from school for any reason.  It is very helpful to provide a doctor’s note whenever your child misses a part of the school day for a medical appointment.

If your child is sick with fever, vomiting, or has diarrhea, it is recommended that he/she stay home from school for at least 24 hours.  Students should be fever-free, without the help of medication, before returning to school.

If you have a serious health concern, please contact our school nurse for more information and assistance.

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Meal Prices

Pre-K Breakfast$1.00

Pre-K Lunch $2.65

Arrival / Dismissal Procedures

Safety and security for our students is our number one priority. Arrival and dismissal procedures have been created to ensure that all of our students are carefully supervised and escorted by KELC staff while entering and exiting the building. By following these guidelines during arrival and dismissal, our families can assist us in keeping our little ones safe during these busy times. Please talk to your child often about the importance of transportation safety rules.

During the first week of school parents can walk students to class without signing in.

During the second week of school parents can walk students to the Sky Room without signing in. After the second week of school parents must check in as visitors and can wait in the Sky Rooms. Parents must have an appointment scheduled with the teacher in order to go to the classroom. Unscheduled classroom visits are a disruption to the learning process. Teachers will be available to meet with parents before or after school; please make an appointment to ensure teachers do not have a scheduling conflict.

 
 

IMPORTANT: A written note or phone call, received no later than 10:30 am and 2:45 pm, is required to make a change to your child’s daily dismissal procedure.

Backpack Tags

It is highly recommended that your child bring a backpack to school each day. Backpacks should be large enough to hold a pocket folder and large library book. Your child’s teacher will attach a backpack tag containing important information, including your child’s dismissal information, which will be utilized during arrival/dismissal times.

  • Please allow your child time to practice opening and closing the backpack prior to the first day of school so he/she can independently work the zippers.

  • Please write your child’s name on the backpack and empty the backpack daily.

  • For your child’s safety and the safety of others, backpacks with wheels are not recommended.

Leaving School Early

If your child needs to leave school before dismissal time due to illness or for a medical appointment, a parent/guardian must park and enter the building through the main entrance to sign the student out for the day. A valid picture ID is required. It is helpful to send a note or call ahead, so that the teacher may be notified.

 
 

IMPORTANT: The state of Texas recognizes tardies and early releases as “time lost” from instruction. Excessive time lost could result in truancy charges. To maximize your child’s educational benefit, please be sure your child attends school on-time, every day, for the entire instructional day as much as possible.

Car Drop-off/Pick-up (Front Entrance)

Parents/Guardians who will be dropping-off and picking-up students will receive a “Pick-up Tag” that includes a flow-through map with directions. Place the “Pick-up Tag” visibly in the front-passenger side window for dismissal. This is the quickest and safest way to pick-up your child. Please remember:

  • Vehicles must remain in a single-file line in the lane closest to the curb.

  • KELC staff will escort your child to/from the building.

  • STOP for those using the cross-walk.

  • Cell phone use in the flow through lanes is prohibited.

  • Please buckle-up and move slowly and carefully off school grounds.

  • KELC staff will not be available after the tardy bell has rung during arrival. You must park and escort your child into the building to be signed-in by office personnel.

  • [Picture]Please utilize the parking lot, if you wish to walk-up to the building during dismissal. Vehicles may not be left unattended in the flow through lanes. A KELC Car Tag and/or valid picture ID will be required to pick-up your student.[Page Break]

Bus Drop-off/Pick-up (North Entrance)

Daycare buses and Durham Transportation buses will drop-off and pick-up students from the North Entrance.

  • Bus transportation is available to Pre-K students to/from all elementary campuses. A Pre-K bus form must be completed at least 24 hours in advance.

  • Qualifying students with disabilities may receive bus service to/from their home or daycare provider residing in the Keller ISD attendance area. A transportation supplement must be completed in an ARD meeting at least 3 – 5 school days in advance.

  • Questions or concerns regarding bus service should be directed to Durham Transportation: (817)744-1300.

 
 

IMPORTANT: For security and safety reasons, students will not be released to parents/guardians from the bus loading zone.

Severe Weather Arrival/Dismissal Procedures

For the safety of staff and students we will not go outside the building when there is lightning or hail. We will not dismiss until the weather subsides and outside conditions are determined safe by campus administration. If we are currently experiencing these types of weather, remaining in the building is the safest place to be. The awnings are effective protection from sun and rain, but they do not protect against lightning and hail.

Releasing our students safely during lightning will be a slow process. Please expect delays and help us by being patient with this process. The safety of our students is always our first priority.

Arrival- When there is lightning in the area, parents may wait until the weather has cleared or parents may park and walk their child into the building. District staff will not be outside to receive students. Staff members will greet students inside as early as 7:30 am and 12:00 pm as they enter the building and we will supervise the students in designated areas.

Dismissal- When there is lightning or hail we will not release students out of the building until a parent comes in and escorts them outside. Parents may not wave from the car for their child to be dismissed. Parents may wait until the weather has cleared or parents may park and walk up to the dismissal location (carrying their pick up sign). District staff will not be outside dismissing students during any period of lightning or hail.

Light Rain, No Lightning

  • Regular Dismissal

  • Staff will assist students to their cars using umbrellas.

  • Bus riders are loaded one bus at a time so all students remain under the awning.

Heavy Rain - This process is slow. Thank you for your patience.

  • Car riders will wait in the front foyer for pick up. Parents may walk up to the main entrance (carrying their pick up sign) to pick up their child. Parents that do not have pick up signs must provide the receptionist with their driver’s license to verify with the pick-up information in the computer system.

  • Bus riders will be kept inside until the weather has been determined safe. Bus students will be loaded one bus at a time.

In Case of Severe Lightning, Hail -

  • Students and staff will remain indoors when lightning and/or hail are present. Students will remain in classrooms during severe weather. Parents may walk inside to pick up their child from their classroom (carrying their pick up sign). Parents that do not have pick up signs must provide the receptionist with their driver’s license to verify with the pick-up information in the computer system before walking to child’s class

  • District staff will NOT escort students to cars while we are experiencing lightning or hail.

In Case of Tornado Warnings/Watch –

  • When conditions are determined outside to activate a tornado warning or tornado watch, the campus will lockdown. No one may enter the building during a lockdown. All staff, students, and parents who are currently in the building will remain in the building until the lockdown is over.

School Cancelation: The following media stations will receive official information from our district's administration, if school is canceled due to inclement weather:

  • WBAP (820 AM): Radio

  • [Picture]KRLD (1080 AM): Radio

  • KXAS TV: Channel 5

  • WFAA TV: Channel 8

  • KTVT TV: Channel 11

  • KISD Website: www.kellerisd.net

  • Remind 101 Text from Mrs. Johnson

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Delayed Start of School

In the event KISD delays school because of inclement weather AM classes will be cancelled. PM classes will begin at the regular start time of 12:15 PM.

Early Release Due to Inclement Weather

If KISD declares an early release due to inclement weather during AM classes buses will deliver students at the regular dismissal times. Car riders will need to be picked up by parents at 11:00 AM. PM classes will be cancelled for the afternoon.

Celebrations and Special Events

It is the belief of Keller ISD that the recognition of holidays provides a life application opportunity for developing cultural awareness and appreciation. Instruction and activities related to holidays will be in alignment with district curriculum. Please let your teacher know if you do not wish your child to participate in holiday activities.

Birthday Celebrations

  • Birthday parties are not allowed.

  • Parents may bring store bought cupcakes or cookies for the class with teacher approval. These may be enjoyed at the end of the day in the classroom at the discretion of the teacher. This must be prearranged and approved with the child’s homeroom teacher. Our school nurse will need to approve food items so as not to conflict with students’ food allergies.

  • If students are having personal parties outside of school and want to pass out invitations, they may only do so if they are given to all students, all girls, or all boys within the classroom. No party invitations will be distributed to other classrooms/students.

  • Students may not receive flowers or balloons in the classroom. These will be kept in the office until dismissal. The office staff will notify the teacher that the child has received an arrangement, so that the child may come and see it.

Classroom Celebrations

School parties are limited to three per year. One will be held before the winter break, the second during the spring semester in February and the final one in June. Parents/Guardians are welcome to donate store bought items for these classroom celebrations and are encouraged to attend these events. More information will be shared in classroom newsletters, web-sites, and on the KELC web-page.

Curriculum Connections

Each six weeks, students will be provided opportunities to participate in school-wide curriculum events such as, “Rodeo Day”, “Space Day”, “Cultural Day”, etc. Culminating activities will be designed to engage students in active, hands-on, multi-sensory experiences that enhance classroom learning. Parents/Guardians will be invited to attend during the students’ co-curr rotation time.

Clothing

Students should wear appropriate clothing and shoes to school. Please remember that Texas weather can be unpredictable. Your child may need a sweater or jacket during rainy and cold days.

When choosing your child’s clothing each day, please keep these guidelines in mind:

  • Your child will be engaged with materials such as sand, water, clay, paint, food, etc. and will need to wear clothing that can be easily washed.

  • Students will engage in music and movement, outdoor learning, and P.E. activities which require close-toed shoes.

  • Clothing should be comfortable and allow for ease in toileting.

  • For students who are in diapers or potty training, you may wish to send an extra set of clothing and diapers/pull-ups in the backpack.

  • Please label all clothing items with your child’s name.

Communication

Home and school communication is essential to your child’s success. We appreciate your partnership and understand that YOU are your child’s first teacher! Scheduled parent conferences will be held in the fall. This conference is an opportunity for you and your child’s teacher to get better acquainted as your child begins the school year. Ideas for how to support your child’s learning at home will be shared.

Parents may request a conference at any time. However, we ask that conferences are not held during arrival and dismissal times, as teachers are supervising students and are not able to give you their complete attention. Teachers may conference before or after school and during conference times. If you have a question or concern, we recommend that you begin with your child’s teacher. Please send a note to school or e-mail when you need to request a phone call or conference. If you have an emergency or urgent request, please call our main office number.

 
 

IMPORTANT: Teachers are not able to review e-mail during instructional time. Also, phone calls made to the teacher’s direct extension during the day will be forwarded to voicemail and checked before/after school.

Curriculum and Instruction

Young children grow and develop at different rates over time. Our early childhood programs are designed to support kindergarten readiness by exposing students to research-based, age-appropriate curriculum with a focus upon developing basic conceptual skills and abilities. Language and literacy skills are emphasized while each student’s individual learning needs are addressed. Our curriculum is designed to support the Texas Pre-Kindergarten Guidelines.

All early childhood programs provide a learning environment that affords each child opportunities to develop:

  • Self-confidence through successful learning experiences

  • Responsibility for one’s behavior

  • Positive attitudes toward learning

  • A sense of responsibility for completing assigned tasks

  • The ability to share and cooperate with others

  • Language/literacy skills and strategies

  • Mathematical thinking about patterns and relationships, order and predictability, and logic and meaning

  • The ability to observe, explore, discover, predict, and solve problems through concrete learning experiences

  • An understanding of the many aspects of their cultural and environmental world

  • Health promoting habits and routines

  • Physically through use of large and small muscle activities

  • Aesthetic expression and appreciation through art, music, and dramatic play

  • The natural curiosity young children use to make sense of their world

  • The early concepts and skills that build the foundation for the Keller ISD Kindergarten Curriculum

Classrooms include:

  • Student computer stations

  • Innovative learning stations

  • Child sized bathrooms

  • High quality educational equipment

  • Developmentally appropriate furniture

  • Access to relevant technology applications, such as: I-pods, I-pads, & SmartBoards

  • Research-based curriculum materials and manipulatives designed to promote exploration, discovery, and emergent literacy

Unique campus features:

  • Outdoor learning areas specifically designed to promote active, collaborative exploration with ADA accessibility.

  • Library equipped with a variety of high-interest books, e-books, and technology resources.

  • Music & PE rooms promoting interaction with peers and large group activities.

  • Motor Lab designed for special needs students needing support with fine and gross motor skills.

  • Café provides breakfast and lunch daily with seating for family visitors.

Discipline Plan

While it is very important for children to learn academics, it is also equally important for them to learn how to function successfully in a classroom setting with other children. Young children are growing and developing a greater awareness of their own self-concept and self-control. As a result, a great deal of time in early childhood programs is focused upon teaching children how to express their feelings, how to get their wants and needs met, how to share with others, how to take turns, how to make friends, and how to resolve conflicts.

Our campus discipline plan is based upon modeling and teaching mutual respect for others while guiding students to make good choices. Your child’s teacher will be communicating daily about his/her behavioral progress while supporting growth in these areas and offering ideas to strengthen positive behaviors at home and at school.

Health Services

Our school nurse maintains vaccination records and monitors health needs of our students. If you child has a severe allergy or medical need, please contact our nurse immediately, so that medical records and emergency information will be up-to-date and accurate. If your child is sick or injured at school, a parent/guardian will be notified.

 
 

IMPORTANT: Please keep all emergency contact information current and notify the office immediately when there are any changes.

School Involvement Opportunities

Parent-Community Involvement

The KELC provides parent workshops, volunteer services, and parenting resources throughout the school year. Information about upcoming events will be provided to students in daily folders and publicized on our web-page.

Volunteers

We encourage campus volunteers to assist with classroom activities and special events. All volunteers must complete a criminal background check prior to assisting on campus. This year all volunteers will be required to register through our new online application. You may submit your Volunteer Application through the following website:

Once your application has been approved, you will receive a confirmation via the email address you provided in the application process. You only need to apply one time. Thank you for your willingness to serve KELC Students!

Watch DOGS (Dads of Great Students) Program

Watch DOGS is a father involvement initiative of the National Center for Fathering that organizes fathers and father figures in order to provide positive male role models for the students and to enhance school security. Fathers, grandfathers, step-fathers, uncles, and other father figures volunteer to serve at least one day a year in a variety of school activities. Contact our counselor for more information.

School Supplies

Keller ISD provides parents with a Pre-Kindergarten and PPCD list of school supplies. Please be sure that all supplies are labeled with your child’s name. On occasion, some supplies may need to be replenished. Unused supplies will be returned at the end of the school year.

Security

In order to provide the most secure and safe environment for our students, visitors may only enter and exit the building through the front door. All doors will remain locked during the instructional day. Security cameras are located throughout the campus grounds for added security.

Visitor Policies

  • All visitors must provide a valid picture ID and receive a Visitor Badge before accessing the building.

  • Families are welcome to walk students to their classrooms during approved arrival times and are also welcome to visit with their child during breakfast and/or lunch.

  • Parent-teacher conferences must be scheduled in advance with the teacher and should not occur during unscheduled times.

  • Upon special administrative approval, classroom observations may be scheduled. Observations will be limited and may not compromise student confidentiality or disrupt the learning environment.

  • Video recording is not allowed in any instructional setting.

Snacks

Students will be provided a brief snack break each day, however snacks will not be provided by the classroom teacher. Parents/Guardians are encouraged to provide a light nutritious snack item in a small baggie or container labeled with the student’s name. Water fountains are available in all classrooms. Please be aware that there may be classrooms with nut-free restrictions.

Sample snacks ideas include: Fresh fruit or veggies that can be easily handled by small fingers, pretzels, crackers, cheese, animal crackers, granola bar, etc.

 
 

IMPORTANT: Students should not bring a full sandwich or other lunch-type items for snack time, as there will not be enough time for those items to be eaten. Please refrain from sending sugary treats (ex. soda, candy, cookies, etc.)

Toys and Objects from Home

Please do not allow your child to bring toys or other items from home as this causes confusion for the other children and may result in loss or damage of the item. Small objects, such as coins, balls, or balloons, can be easily swallowed and are a choking hazard.

Important Contact Information

Keller Early Learning Center

10310 Old Denton Rd.

Ft. Worth, TX 76244

Main Office: (817)744-6700

FAX #: (817)744-6738

Web-site:

Find us on Facebook!

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Office Staff

 
 

PrincipalChristy Johnson

 
 

Asst. PrincipalCathy Gillum

Counselor – Lyndsi Moore

Nurse – Laurie Isler, RN

Secretary – Brandy Jonak

Receptionist/Attendance – Nacheily Ramos

Data Clerk – Michelle Abruzzo

Office Aide Lora Littleton​​