All visitors to HFMA, including parents and family members, must check in at the school office upon arrival to obtain a visitor tag. This tag must be worn at all times while within HFMA premises. Individuals found within the school premises without proper identification will be asked to leave and be reported to the main office as well as the authorities when necessary. This procedure ensures the safety of our students and staff.
When in need of delivering any material to a child, a parent must bring the material to the HFMA front office and request a staff to deliver the material to the appropriate classroom.
Custody and Visitation Issues
HFMA complies with valid court orders and parenting agreements regarding custody and parenting time. We wish to remain a neutral party when divorced/unmarried parents share parenting time. No child will be released to any person, including a parent or relative, unless you have given written authorization to allow the person to take the child out of the center or there is a court order authorization the person to take the child out of the center. We require a valid subpoena before providing copies of any records for use in any court proceedings.
Not only are they convenient for parents, uniforms can be more economical over time as well. Moreover, as the children grow up, uniforms help eliminate distracting comparisons and competitions based on the way they dress.
The mandatory general HFMA uniform consists of mix and matches of different styles. Shorts and pants with polo shirts for the boys. Jumper with a white blouse, and skirt, pants or shorts with a polo shirt for the girls.
For the Pre-Primary and the young Primary children (3 and 4 years-old), the shorts and pants will have elastic-band waist (no buttons or belts) to encourage self-sufficiency with toilet routines and training. The older children are required to wear belts with the pants and shorts.
At the end of the school year parents will have the opportunity to sell the gently used uniforms to other parents and to purchase gently used uniforms for the next year. A reminder note with information will be sent home in May.
Label all garments, particularly those garments a child is most likely to take off in school, especially sweaters, coats, raincoats, gloves, mittens, and hats. Montessori children are encouraged to be responsible for their own garments. They may become frustrated or upset when they cannot recognize their possessions.
HFMA students are required to wear athletic shoes that offer the support and flexibility needed for proper development and safety. Therefore, sandals and/or dressy shoes will not be allowed. The shoes must be entirely white with no decorations or lights. Toddler and younger Primary children are permitted to wear shoes with Velcro. Do not forget to label your child’s shoes as well!
Children should not bring toys, money, lip-gloss, marbles, little pocket objects, watches, jewelry, etc., to the school. These are avoidable distractions. For the young child, we suggest that you have a box in the car where the child can leave these items until after school. if a child does bring an object into the classroom, a teacher will put it in a safe place until the child is ready to go home. However, the school is not responsible for objects brought to school. If you feel your child needs to use a product for chapped lips, please send it to the teacher.
For safety reasons children are not allowed to wear any kind of jewelry or sunglasses.
CHANGE OF CLOTHES
All students are asked to bring a labeled change of clothes, appropriate for the season, (including socks and underwear) in a labeled Zip lock bag. The change of clothes does not need to be uniform. This will be kept in your child’s classroom.
LOST AND MISUSED EQUIPMENT
Any classroom material, no matter how small, which happens to go home with a child, needs to be returned to the class immediately. Please understand that an enthusiastic worker sometimes pockets a bead or a skittle and forgets to return the item to its appropriate place. These items are sometimes irreplaceable; hence, it is important to return them to the school. Moreover, any material misused by a child will be sent home with a note for replacement; this policy helps the children learn to be responsible for material and equipment made available to them.
We are providing breakfast 7:00 AM to 9: AM. This should be considered as a breakfast. The morning snack, integrated in the Montessori curriculum, is prepared by the children. During snack preparation they learn several useful skills such as: spreading, cutting, and slicing, among others. The students will be provided with two wholesome afternoon snacks as well.
A nutritious lunch is essential for your child’s concentration and well-being. If you choose to send a lunch from home, please keep good nutrition in mind and do not send any food or drinks containing excessive sugar (cakes, cookie, candy, gum, soft drinks, etc.) Also please refrain from sending frozen meals or canned items. We are happy to re-heat children’s lunches, but we cannot actually cook them. Also please Ensure to label your child’s lunchbox and all utensils in it.
HFMA is a Nut-Free School; therefore do not bring any nut products to the school in your child’s lunchbox.
Infants, toddler and Pre-Primary children nap in their classroom. Children younger than four-years-old will be offered a naptime from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Children in the Primary classroom will go to the nap-room after lunch. The Infant and Pre-Primary children will nap in their own classrooms. The older children will have a rest period of half hour after lunch as well, in their individual classrooms. Children’s individual physical needs are respected at all times.
If a child awakens before the end of the naptime, she or he will then participate in an alternative quiet activity until the naptime is over for the other children.
Please provide a clean blanket and sheet for naptime and take them home Fridays for washing.
SAFE SLEEP POLICY
Infants below 12 months dress up with arm and neck openings sized appropriately for a safer fit. Nap stuff/clothes must not be too warm. Infants overheating are a side’s risk. Babies will put on their back and sleep alone on a firm surface with tight fitting bottom sheet. We don’t put babies in Bouncers, swing, Ex. saucers. Soft toys or blankets are not allowed to use in the crib.
Physical Activities Schedule at HFMA
At HFMA, we prioritize physical activities for your child’s well-being. We offer a balanced schedule of both outdoor and indoor playtimes during school hours, with an additional outdoor playtime available after school. It’s important to note that these activities are subject to weather conditions. Therefore, please ensure your child is dressed appropriately for the outdoors every day, as special indoor arrangements cannot be made due to the state-mandated teacher-to-student ratio.
We kindly request parents to make sure their child is adequately prepared to go outside. In cases where a child is unwell and unable to participate in outdoor activities, it may be advisable to reconsider sending them to school, as per the guidelines of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (HHSC). However, for children with upper respiratory issues, we can make special arrangements upon receiving a note from the child’s physician. It’s important to understand that, as per regulations, requests for indoor stay cannot be accommodated.
In instances where outdoor play is not possible due to inclement weather, our indoor facilities provide engaging alternatives, including activities such as Zumba.
For the comfort and safety of your child during outdoor activities, we recommend applying sunblock, mosquito repellent, or ointment in the morning before school. Should caregivers need to apply these products, parents must complete the consent form, ensuring we have your child’s best interests in mind.
Teachers and staff are allowed to hug the children as a show of affection.
Parents will be informed of any disciplinary concerns. Communication is paramount to building a consistent framework for teachers and parents to work together, encouraging the child to develop self-discipline and acceptable behavior. It is important that the parents support the disciplinary actions taken by the HFMA staff. In case of concerns the parents are urged to contact the teacher, and then, if necessary, the school Director.
The following steps will be taken for disciplinary reasons:
- Written and/or verbal teacher notification of a concern to the parents
- Teacher/Child conference
- Teacher/child/Director conference
- Teacher/Parent/Director conference
- Written notification of a two-week probationary period to the parents
- If the undesired behavior continues, a final letter will be sent to the parents stating the student is dismissed from HFMA.
HFMA policy in reference to children biting other children will be evaluated on a case by case basis. No tuition refunds are made for students who are dismissed or are withdrawn for disciplinary reasons.
HFMA uses positive methods of discipline and guidance that encourage self-esteem, self-control, and self-direction, which include using of praise and encouragement words, reminding a child of behavior expectations, redirecting behavior, using brief supervised separation (thinking chair) and giving the children choices of behavior (“happy choice or sad choice”).
HFMA staff will never use Corporal Punishment or negative discipline that may hurt or humiliate child. Research has shown that positive guidance teaches children skills which help them get along in their physical and social environment. This aim is to develop personal standards in self-discipline, not to enforce a set of inflexible rules. Giving children understandable guidelines and redirecting their behavior helps them to develop internal control of their actions and encourages acceptable behavior. HFMA reserves the right to terminate care for the child for discipline problems at any time.
ATTENDANCE, ABSENCE, AND SICKNESS
Regular school attendance is essential to achieve continued and lasting educational progress. If, for any reason, a student will not be attending a regular school day, the parent should report the absence to the school between 9:00 a.m. and 9:30 a.m.
Even though HFMA understands that special circumstances do arise, the school does not refund tuition for classes missed.
If your child’s illness extends beyond a month, you may choose to withdraw your child from the school. you may re-register the same child subsequently without having to pay a registration fee, provided there is an opening at that time. All outstanding tuition and fees at the time of withdrawal must be fully paid for re-registering consideration. Re-registering placement is determined by available openings in the student’s original class. If no such opening exists, the parents will be offered appropriate alternatives when available.
Children who are ill should not attend preschool. HFMA observe the standards set by Texas Department of Family and Protective Services for ill children. The most common standards for exclusion are:
- Illness that prevents the child from participating in childcare activities including outdoor play.
- The Illness results in a greater need for care than caregivers can provide without compromising the health, safety and supervision of the other children.
- Oral temperature of 101 or armpit temperature of 100. School regulation requires a child to maintain a normal body temperature (below 100 F) for twenty-four hours without the use of medication or fever reducers before the child can be sent to the school.
- Symptoms and signs of possible severe illness such as lethargy, abnormal breathing, uncontrollable diarrhea, 2 or more vomiting episodes in 24-hours.
If a child becomes ill while in our care, we will contact the parent immediately. We will care for the child apart from the other children with proper supervision and give extra attention to hand washing and sanitation practices. Parents need to pick up children within 1-hour of notification. In the event of severe illness or injury, or if a parent fails to pick up their child within a reasonable amount of time, HFMA may call for an ambulance at the parent’s expense.
Children must not be brought to the school when ill, especially when the following symptoms are apparent: diarrhea, bad cough, sore throat, and headache, upset stomach, seems lethargic or drowsy, or is running a temperature of 100 degree Fahrenheit or above.
Bodily fluid cleanup and Hygiene
All HFMA employees adhere to the following procedure for the cleaning of bodily fluids:
- Gloves worn when cleaning up any and all such accidents to avoid contact with bodily fluids.
- Accidental spills disinfected with a freshly made 10% solution of household chlorine bleach in water or with any EPA approval industrial disinfectant cleaning product.
- Persons coming in contact with bodily fluid wash their hands immediately.
- Blooded-soaked items will be placed in leak proof bags for washing or further disposition; similar procedures are recommended for items contacted by vomits or fecal or urinary fluids of any child.
- Hand washing with soap and warm water after having had contact with the child’s blood or body fluids, including saliva, is mandatory.
If your child has a contagious disease, the school should be notified so all parents can be alerted. For record keeping purposes, please write a note when your child returns to class stating the reason for his/her absence.
Please inform your physician that your child is in full-day or part-day school and that you prefer to give medications at home, morning and evening. Knowing this, many doctors will order longer acting medications. Limiting medications dispensed away from home prevents medication errors. Please remember, HFMA is designed for well children.
School personnel cannot and will not administer over-the-counter drugs or aspirin to any child, unless a prescription is provided by the child’s physician. If your child is required by a physician to take prescription medicine during the school day, the following procedures must be followed:
- Medication must be sent to the school in the prescription bottle with the doctor’s instruction printed on the front label.
- Parents should take the medicine to the office and fill out a Medication Form giving permission for their child to take the prescription medicine. This form must be filled out on a weekly basis with the school.
- All medications and medical equipment, including nebulizer machines, must be taken home at the end of each day. HFMA is not responsible for loss or damage to any items that are left at the school.
- Emergency medications, such as EpiPen’s, may be left at the school at the discretion of the director. It is the parent’s responsibility to ensure that any medications left are within their expiration date.
- Medicine must not be sent in lunch boxes or children’s tote bags. If this happens, the school staff will confiscate the medicine.
- Medication needs to go home after the last date that the medication is administered.
- Health forms are required to be completed at the time of enrollment showing any allergies, physical handicaps, a statement of general health, and a current immunization history. These must be updated and kept current.
- HFMA personnel are not responsible for any allergic reaction or any bad reaction from any medicine given at the school, including breathing treatments. We act totally in goodwill and faith, following all directions given by parents, for the benefit of the children when administering medicine. Keep in mind that we do not have any medical training. Giving medicine to children under our care is at the parent’s own risk.
In case of critical illness or injury that requires attention of a physician, the school will contact emergency medical services or take the child to the nearest emergency room. We will also give the child first aid treatment or CPR when needed, contact the physician identified in the child’s record, and contact the parents as soon as possible.
If a child ingests or comes in contact with a poisonous substance the staff will contact the Poison Control Center 1.800.222.1222.
For minor accidents, scratches, and/or scrapes, the wound will be cleansed, and a sterile bandage will be applied if necessary. Parents will be informed and asked to sign an Incident Report regarding any accidents that may occur.
HFMA staff will make every effort to ensure the safety of your children while in our care. Unfortunately, minor accidents may occur. We will notify you as soon as possible in the event of illness or accident. Parents are responsible for medical expenses that may arise from a minor accident.
HEARING/VISION AND UPDATED IMMUNIZATION RECORDS
In compliance with Texas State Law, vision and hearing tests will be conducted during the fall/ spring semesters. A note will be sent home prior to the testing regarding the cost and exact dates. This service is optional; parents are welcome to bring their own pediatrician test to school. however, any child 4 years and older that does not have a current test on file in compliance with State Law, will be required to take this testing when provided at HFMA at the parent’s expense. Parents will be notified right away if a problem is detected. Please, remember that it is a State regulation to have this document on our child’s file at school.
Parents are responsible to keep their children’s files updated with the latest shot records, per Texas Department of health service’s rules act 25TAC chapter 97, sub chapter B (relating to Immunization Requirements in Texas Elementary and Secondary School and Institution of Higher Education) httpp://www.dshs.state.tx.us.immunized.
Please make sure to give to the school a copy of shot records every time your child or children has/have their yearly check-up. Failing to keep your child’s files complete will be penalized by a fine of $25.
Collin County does not at present time require tuberculin testing for students.
In accordance with the law of the State of Texas, HFMA faculty and staff are required to report any suspected cases of child abuse or neglect. This report will be made to the local law enforcement or to Child Protective Services. The Abuse Hotline number is: 1-800-252-5400.
HFMA follows Plano ISD for bad weather days. If Plano ISD is closed, then HFMA will be closed as well. Please check your local weather or news channels as they display a listing of all closings for the day due to inclement weather. Please note that HFMA follows LEISD for weather closures, not for the entire academic calendar.
The emergency management plan will be implemented in response to situations that require for us to evacuate the school or the campus, or to shelter in-place. Example of such situations include fire, severe weather, toxic spills or acts of war.
School evacuation: monthly fire drills practice one form of school evacuation. Student exit the building and remain on the Happy Flower Montessori Academy school grounds.
Campus evacuation: if necessary, students would evacuate the Happy Flower Montessori Academy School and walk to the church across the street.
Children 18 months and younger will be buckled and moved in strollers. Staff members will use the walking rope to guide Pre-Primary children. Older children will walk across, holding hands with staff members to reach the site.
Shelter in-place: Students and teachers will shelter-in-place in the event of tornado, near- by Chemical spill or other events that require us to seek shelter indoors. In the event of chemical spill or other air-borne hazard, the ventilation system carrying outside air will be shut down.
In the event of a shelter in-place situation, the school will be open as long as students need to be here. In the event that a shelter-in-place is declared, we strongly discourage parents from coming to the school until instructed to do so. The school has stores of bottled water and food for such a situation.
Area evacuation: If ordered to do so by civil authorities, we would be transported to a safe distance from the school via a contracted transport which will provide all children will disabilities and all children 24 months and younger a 5-point restraint. Transportation will go to
Children 24 months and under will be sitting on volunteer or staff lap or strapped to a seatbelt. This type of evacuation will allow the use of staff and/or volunteer cars and public-school buses. Children with limited mobility will be evacuated by own personal wheelchair or by a staff member. Children with mental, visual or hearing impairment will be either carried out or use a walking rope (Pre-Primary class) which will guide them to the proper location.
School Lockdown: School will be locked down in case of extreme situations such as gun and bomb threat and drastic weather conditions. We will follow Plano ISD in bad weather.
Communication: How the school will communicate with parents in the event of emergency: the school will communicate with parents via e-mail and telephone to keep you informed. The school will test this system annually. It is important that parents keep the school up-to-date on emergency contact information. Parents can reach us by phone but may not be able to speak to us if there are multiple calls at the same time. Even if the school phone lines remain open, they will be tied up if there are multiple calls that come in at the same time.
Our first priority in the event of emergency is to ensure that children and school staff are safe. Our second priority is to contact parents and to keep you informed.
The school maintains contact with 911, Plano Police Department and the Plano Fire Department in the event of emergency and follows their instructions. The school also notifies State Licensing authorities.
We will have a copy of the Emergency Card (which contains all important information such as parent contact numbers, allergies, emergency contacts, permission for emergency care) and the Lead teachers will have their attendance book to keep track of the children under our care. Also, the teachers will have the classroom list with all the children’s tracking info. The HFMA staff will use games and songs to lessen the children’s anxiety. The children will be counted as they leave the building and also as they arrive in the safe location.