Colores Preschool Community Handbook
Colores Spanish Immersion Preschool is open on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. We follow the Austin Independent School District (AISD) school calendar with a few exceptions which will be noted on our calendar. Our academic year runs from the beginning of September through the end of May. Our daily schedule is designed to offer consistency as well as flexibility to serve the interest of the children.
|9 – 9:15 am||Arrival|
|9:15 – 9:45 am||Circle Time||We sing songs, listen to music, recite poems and talk about letters, numbers, shapes, days of the week, months of the year, the weather, seasons, holidays, traditions, current events, and more!|
|9:45 – 10 am||Snack|
|10 – 10:45 am||Outside play and exploration||We play with and talk about our environment that surrounds us.|
|10:45 – 11:15 am||Reading||We read books or listen to poems or music and discuss what we learned from the book, poems, music, and more!|
|11:15 – 12 noon||Activity exploration||Students choose to work individually, in groups or a teacher guides a whole group activity related to our monthly unit of study.|
|12 – 12:30 pm||Lunch|
|12:30 – 12:45 pm||More activity exploration||Includes reflection about what we learned that day.|
|12:45 – 1 pm||Dismissal|
Colores Spanish Immersion Preschool is an approved licensed child care center by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. You may access the Minimum Standard Rules for Licensed Child Care Centers at www.dfps.state.tx.us/child_care. We have a printed copy of our most recent licensing inspection report. You may contact the local Licensing office at 512-834-3426 or www.dfps.state.tx.us.
A child is considered enrolled at Colores Spanish Immersion Preschool when parent(s) turn in the Enrollment Form, Health Forms, last page of this Community Handbook, tuition deposit and fees. Parents will be notified of policy changes at the beginning of each new school year, if any. Parents are welcome to review and discuss with Reka, our founder and teacher, any questions or concerns about the policies and procedures of the Colores Preschool community.
Prior to the first day of school, Colores Preschool must have your child’s completed statement of good health from her pediatrician and immunization records. She will be unable to attend school until all health information is complete and current. If your child is 4 years old or older, please provide her most recent hearing and vision screening results.
Colores Spanish Immersion Preschool will not administer medications to children for common illnesses. Children with allergies must have documentation in their file of specific allergies. If medication is used to counteract a reaction, Colores Preschool must have those medications with written instructions upon how/when to use such treatments by the child’s first day of school.
State licensing mandates that a child with any of the following symptoms be isolated and the parent(s) notified and asked to remove the child from the school as soon as possible:
- Fever of 100.5 F
- Diarrhea (more than one abnormally loose stool per day)
- Severe cough
- Unusual yellow color to skin or eyes
- Skin or eye lesions or rashes that are severe, weeping, or pus-filled
- Stiff neck and headache with one or more of the symptoms listed above
- Difficult breathing or wheezing
- Complaints of severe pain
- Thick, green mucous that continues to flow throughout the day
If your child is not feeling well in the morning, please observe them closely before sending them to school and risking the health of other children. Children must be free from symptoms for 24 hours before returning to school. If your child develops any of these symptoms while at school, you will be called immediately. If a child has mild cold symptoms that do not impair his/her functioning, the child may remain in the classroom and the parent(s) notified when they pick up their child. If your child is diagnosed with any communicable disease (chicken pox, whooping cough, fifth disease, pink eye, etc.) or head lice, please report this to us as soon as possible.
Colores Preschool’s policy to protect children in our care from vaccine-preventable diseases includes a recommendation for our teachers to obtain immunizations against influenza (flu) yearly. Our procedures to minimize children’s exposure to disease at school include the use of protective medical equipment, such as gloves and masks, if necessary.
Injuries and Medical Emergencies
If your child receives a boo boo while at school, we will send home a copy of the incident report with your child. If a more serious injury occurs requiring immediate medical attention, parent(s) and the emergency medical personnel will be notified immediately. Children will be escorted to Dell Children’s Hospital. All injuries requiring medical attention must be reported to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.
Emergency Preparedness Plan
In an emergency situation (such as fire, gas leak, natural disaster, health emergency), all children will be relocated from Koenig Lane Christian Church (908 Old Koenig Lane Austin, TX 78756) by Colores Preschool staff across the street to Central City Austin Church at 1006 West Koenig Lane Austin, TX 78756.
Sheltering or lock-down
In an emergency situation that requires the children and staff to temporarily take shelter within the classroom (such as tornado, volatile person on premises, endangering person in the area), staff will direct all children to sit down together under a table. We will pull down the blinds and close all curtains and doors.
In an emergency, a teacher will take the clipboard containing the list of children with parents’ phone numbers and authorization for emergency care for each child. Each family will be called as soon as possible. Teachers will communicate with local authorities, parents and licensing through a cell phone. Teachers will continue to care for the children until each child has been released. As soon as the evacuation, relocation or sheltering/lock-down is lifted children will be reunified with their parents.
Under the Texas Penal Code, any area within 1000 feet of a licensed child care center is a gang-free zone, where criminal offenses related to organized criminal activity are subject to harsher penalty.
We will be happy to speak with you by phone before and after school. Email is a great way to reach out as well. If there is a family emergency, that requires you to reach us 9:00-1:00, please send a text message to 512-740-7645. If for some reason, we do not respond, you may also call the church’s office number at 512-454-7679. We can also set up an appointment to chat in person. There will be 2 parent-teacher conferences scheduled during the year: one in November and one in April.
Colores Preschool publishes a new post on our blog every other Friday describing all the fun and learning that took place at school those two weeks. We include pictures of our activities, words to our songs and poems, Spanish vocabulary we are learning, our current theme, letter of the week, etc. Our blog can be found at colorespreschool.blogspot.com There is also a place on the bottom of the blog where you can submit your email address to Follow us by Email.
Every other Monday we send a quick email to parents about what we will be learning for the following two weeks. This information usually is a list of Spanish vocabulary words that we will be using and practicing at school. You are welcome to learn and practice these Spanish words, phrases and concepts with your child at home if you’d like.
Our goal at Colores Spanish Immersion Preschool is to facilitate an environment that encourages the development of your child’s inner discipline. Along the path to inner discipline, children often need help ascertaining what behaviors are acceptable. Our golden rule will always be to treat others and our environment as you would want to be treated. It is of utmost importance that the adults at Colores Spanish Immersion Preschool move and speak gracefully and respectfully at all times. We want to work our hardest to always model the actions we wish to see in the children. We will help children learn how to resolve conflict with others in an appropriate and respectful manner. We will remain focused upon the positive behaviors, redirect those behaviors which are unacceptable, and develop a cooperative agreement with the child to insure his experience at Colores Preschool is a positive one.
For some children, entry into our learning community represents the first occasion they spend a significant amount of time away from their families. For all, children and parents, it is bound to be a time of excitement and stress: a new beginning! We would like to offer a few suggestions to make the transition a smooth and pleasant one.
Before School Starts
Make a short and informal visit to the school. Drive through the neighborhood so that your child can become comfortable with the setting. Be casual about it. Read to your child picture books about starting school. Keep discussions about school casual and positive. If you think your child may have difficulty separating, do not allude to it in front of her. If separation may be an issue, please discuss it with us so that extra visits and meetings can be arranged. The more familiar the child is with the new setting, the more comfortable the child will be.
On the First Day
Make sure your good-bye is loving and brief. Do not sneak out without a good-bye. Suggest that your child draw or create a picture that she could take home and share with you after school.
Have a good bye routine with your child. A routine will help the child feel safe and in control of the situation. Before coming to school, remind the child of what is going to happen and that you always will be back to get him. Make sure you pick up your child on time. Anxiety can build up if a child feels forgotten.
If you feel concerned about how your child is coping with the transition, you may call Colores Preschool during the day to inquire about how your little one is doing. The teachers will be happy to give you updates as to how your child is coping.
When talking with your child, avoid lead in questions that focus on the negative aspects of the separation, such as: “Did you miss me?” “Were you sad all day?” Instead you might want to ask “Who did you eat lunch with?” “What songs did you sing?” “What did you have for snack?” Do not hesitate to discuss any concerns you may have with us. Remember, some children take longer to adjust to new situations than others.
Arrival and Dismissal
Arrival will be occurring in the classroom between 9 and 9:15 a.m. Upon entering the classroom children will place their lunchbox in the cabinet or shelf unit near the door and start working on an activity of their choice.
Dismissal will occur between 12:45 and 1 p.m. on the playground. Please be prompt. If you plan on being a few minutes late, a phone call or text message is always appreciated.
Sign In/Out Procedures
A clipboard with all children’s names will be on top of the lunchbox cabinet/shelf. Please sign in your child’s time of arrival each day. At the end of each day, the teachers will sign out your child at the time s/he was picked up.
We offer drop-in days for the children that attend Colores Preschool 1 or 2 days a week. If a child is already enrolled, they can come on the other days of the week that we are open (Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, 9 to 1) for a $45 a day fee. If a sibling or friend is not already enrolled, they should be at least 18 months old (up to 5 or 6 years old), complete paperwork and they can also come for a drop-in day of their choice for the same fee. Just let us know about 24 hours in advance if your family, friends or neighbors would like to take advantage of this opportunity.
Release of Children
No child will be released to unauthorized persons. Authorized persons must be indicated on the enrollment form. If your child needs to be picked up by someone who is not indicated on your child’s enrollment form, you must indicate in writing (email is fine) the name and phone number of the person who will be picking up your child prior to dismissal. At dismissal, to verify identification, Colores Preschool will request to see the adult’s driver’s license number and license plate number. The top priority is your child’s safety and well-being.
Snack and Water
Please pack a small snack in your child’s lunchbox for his mid-morning snack. Also, please send a reusable bottle or zippy cup for water with your child. Please label it with your child’s name. We will keep this bottle at school. We will wash all water bottles at school and refill them with water as needed.
Children bring their lunches from home. Please pack lunches in reusable, easy to open containers. The children enjoy learning how to prepare for, serve, and clear away after a meal. The children are encouraged to peel fruits and open containers for themselves. They also learn to offer help to one another and to request, accept, and decline help as needed. All leftovers will be packed up into your child’s lunch box. These leftovers will guide you as to how much and what your child is eating. Once you have gauged how much and of what your child will eat for lunch, remember to observe for growing appetites and adjust as necessary. Please refrain from sending sweets, artificially flavored yogurt, potato chips, and overly processed foods. (Colores Preschool is not responsible for the nutritional value of the meals provided by parents or for meeting the child’s daily food needs.)
The child should be dressed in comfortable clothes that she can easily put on and take off in the bathroom. Soft pants with an elastic waist are easy for your child to manipulate and provide comfort in the many positions your child will be working/playing in throughout the morning. Your child’s clothing need not be expensive or fancy. Instead, we appreciate simple, comfortable and manageable items. Also, clothes worn to school may become stained from our different art and craft activities or while playing and exploring outside.
Soft-soled, practical shoes allow for a maximum range of safe movement. Tennis shoes, leather oxfords, and sandals which firmly buckle to your child’s foot are all appropriate. Please save cowboy boots, flip-flops, crocs, and clogs for other “special” times. Please make sure your child has a full set of clothing (shirt, bottom, underpants, socks) appropriate for the current season at school at all times. Please label your child’s clothing with his or her initials or name.
We will be enjoying the outdoors year round. Take this into consideration as your child gets dressed each morning. Please help them to choose clothes that they will be comfortable in – even when outside. Cool dresses and shorts in the heat, layers when it’s chilly, a hat and warm jacket if it’s cold, a raincoat (and rain boots) if it’s rainy. You may keep umbrellas home as they are cumbersome for the young child to manage. If your child wears a hat in the summer to play outside, please send a hat to school. Please label your child’s hat with his initials or name.
We will support your endeavors to promote your child’s toilet independence. If your child has not yet mastered toileting, please make sure your child always has diapers at school. If your child is trained but is still having the occasional accident, you may want to have her wearing training underwear (still cloth underwear, just thicker providing more absorbency). Throughout the morning, we will observe your child and offer her the opportunity to use the restroom. If your child urinates or has a bowel movement in her clothes, we will work with your child to change her clothing and store away her wet items to take home. We will allow her to be as much a part of the process as possible which may mean that she participates in flushing the toilet, undressing, placing her wet clothes in a plastic bag, wiping herself (with necessary supervision and assistance from us) and then putting on dry clothes. Commonly, children who are part of a community with other children, recognize what other children and adults are modelling and they want to participate and mimic those same behaviors. It’s only natural to strive for independence! Thus, they become eager to learn such major feats as toilet training.
If the weather gets icy and Austin Independent School District cancels classes, then Colores Preschool will also be closed. If AISD will operate on a 2-hour delay, then Colores Preschool will open at 10 a.m. We will try to notify you as soon as possible in case of bad weather cancellation or delay.
Visitors and Observations
Parents and community members are welcome to observe at Colores Spanish Immersion Preschool. Parents are welcome to visit at any time to observe their child, our operation and program activities without having to set up an appointment.
Colores Preschool encourages parent participation. We will have several opportunities throughout the year for parents to lend a hand. We will email bulletins periodically that keep families updated with holiday festivities, community nights and classroom visitors. Also, if you have a child friendly talent or occupation, please converse with us. You may be just the perfect visitor!
Birthdays are important milestones in the lives of children. We celebrate each child’s birthday in a way that is special for both the child and the parents. We will schedule your child’s birthday celebration on his birthday or on a day closest to his birthday. Parents of the birthday child may bring a small snack for the class to enjoy, for example: mini muffins, homemade cookies, bread, etc. Parents may choose to serve the snack in the morning or after lunch.
Withdrawal from the Program
Parents wishing to withdraw their child must provide a statement in writing (email is fine) at least 30 days prior to the discontinuation of this service.
Fees and Payment Policy
The salaries, supplies and administrative expenses of Colores Spanish Immersion Preschool are supported entirely by fees. Tuition payments are due by the 1st of each month. The child will not be allowed to attend if the required enrollment forms are not entirely completed and returned to Colores Preschool by the day the child is scheduled to start school. A child may be discharged for non-payment of fees. Please refer to the Enrollment Agreement for all details regarding fees and responsibilities.
There is no discount for days your child does not attend Colores Preschool due to illness, vacation or other trips outside of the regular school closings. If you take vacation outside the times that Colores is closed, your paid tuition will hold your child’s space until you return.
Report Abuse or Neglect
Call the Abuse Hotline at 1-800-252-5400 toll-free 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, nationwide. Make your report through the secure web site and you will receive a response within 24 hours at www.txabusehotline.org.
An interesting article about the benefits of dual language programs at the elementary school level in the United States published in The New York Times: Dual-Language Programs are on the Rise, Even for Native English Speakers
There are some fun and easy ideas on how to incorporate more Spanish at home in this great article in Parents Magazine: 16 Easy Ways to Raise a Bilingual Child
An informative article about the benefits to children’s brains in language immersion programs at the elementary school level by American Radio Works: This is your brain on language
An article about bilingual and dual language education in Austin in the (London) Times Education Supplement: Still learning to talk, but muy bueno at other languages
Think Bilingual Austin is a non-profit organization that serves the public by providing free access to information and local resources and programs that promote bilingualism, bilingual education and multiculturalism.