NCRC Parent Handbook & NCRC COVID-19 Guidelines & Policies
Reminder: Once you have reviewed the Parent Handbook, please log into your account on the
Magnus Health Portal to confirm receipt.
- Program Information
- NCRC Support
- Your Child At School
- Arrival & Dismissal
- Communication between Home & School
- Records & Placement
- Board of Trustees
- Parent Association
- Emergency Closings & Special Days
During the 2021-2022 school year, NCRC will follow a staggered arrival and dismissal schedule for all classes. Information on changes/alterations to the arrival and/or dismissal schedule will be communicated directly by your classroom teachers, and will be posted on the NCRC Website. As a general guideline the schedule is as follows:
AM classes begin at 8:30 am and end at 11:30 am
PM classes begin at 12:40pm and end at 3:30 pm
Full-day classes begin at 8:30am and end at 3:00 pm
Please Note: Due to COVID-19, the typical daily schedule is subject to change. Changes to the daily schedule will be communicated to families via email.
Due to health and safety considerations as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Optional Programs have been suspended, until such time it is determined to be safe for students and faculty to commence offering them. Information and Updates will be communicated via the NCRC Website. Historically, Optional Programs followed the following schedule:
EARLY BIRDS (8:00-8:30 am)
Available for AM & Full-Day Students
Early Birds offers supervised childcare for AM & Full-Day students from 8:00am until classes begin; regular enrollment and drop-in opportunities are accommodated, when space is available. Children participate in activities such as puzzles, arts, motor games, and choice toys.
MUNCH BUNCH(Bunny & Duckling) & LUNCH BUNCH(Beehive & Butterfly) (11:30am-12:30pm)
Children extend the school day enjoying lunch with friends while supervised by teachers. After lunch is completed, teachers lead the group in activities or support play on the playground. An emphasis of the lunch programs is fostering independence, exercising executive functioning skills, and learning the importance of balanced nutrition. Munch/Lunch Bunch is available only as a 5-day/week program and there are no drop-in opportunities.
LATER GATORS & LITTLE GATORS (3:00-5:00pm)
Available for PM & Full-Day Students
Parents choose the pick-up time for their child(ren) either at 3:30, 4:00pm, or 5:00 pm. Based on the length of time your child is in the program, children participate in a snack, teacher-led activities, and time on the playground. Drop-ins for the program are accommodated. Parents must notify the Director of Programs as soon as they know a drop-in date is needed.
Teachers, in collaboration with the Head of school, build a play-based curriculum that ensures a sound progression of concepts and skills appropriate to each class. Activities reflect the five domains of early childhood learning: social emotional, physical, communication, self-help, and cognitive. Learning centers throughout the classrooms provide exploration and multi-sensory experiences. Most classrooms have a block corner, a dramatic play area, a space for manipulatives, a reading corner, a sensory table, a light table, an art area, and an easel. Each of these spaces further enhances child development through opportunities for communication, social engagement, building and constructing, artistic expression, signing, thematic-integrated units, reading, writing, a language-rich environment, and gross motor play. The teaching teams communicate their goals and activities through weekly projection plans and class newsletters which parents receive electronically and are posted outside the classroom.
Due to health and safety considerations as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, during the 2021-2022 school year, the following specials will be provided on a weekly basis. Specials will occur weekly, for 20-30 minutes. The length of time will be dependent on the special and the developmental appropriateness for the children. Please see Specials listed below.
Lessons with Mr. Nolan
NCRC’s Motor Program is based on the brain-body connection and its impact on learning. The kinesthetic curriculum is designed to improve health, learning, and self-regulation through play. Activities that involve practice and repetition are planned to encourage children to solve problems, acquire mastery, and gain confidence. The curriculum progresses developmentally and is implemented by the Motor Teacher with the support of the teaching teams.
NCRC partners with Levine Music to bring a rich early childhood education music program to our children. Utilizing Levine Music’s Early Childhood Music Curriculum, music teachers provide the children with an understanding of the foundations of music through movement, songs, rhythm, instruments, chants, dance, and poetry.
During the 2021-2022 school year, Music will be provided once weekly by your Levine music teacher.
- Vision & Hearing Screenings
- The Child Development Team (CDT)
- Additional Student Supports and Adaptations
Due to health and safety considerations as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Vision and Hearing Screenings are suspended for the 2021-2022 school year, and/or until such time that it is deemed safe to conduct the screenings.
Screenings for vision through the Prevention of Blindness Association and hearing screening through Gallaudet University are usually scheduled annually. These screenings are conducted as a part of the school’s commitment to monitor the development and progress of all children. All children participate in the screenings unless a parent submits a written request that their child not participate. Results of the screenings are sent home to parents. The Head of School and the Child Development Team will support parents fully if additional evaluation is appropriate.
Supporting every student and family
The Child Development Team (CDT) is here to support every child, family, and all faculty at NCRC. Specialists on the team include our School Counselor, Occupational Therapist, and Speech-Language Pathologist. These specialists work with all teachers to incorporate language, speech, motor, and social-emotional skill-building practices into the classroom. CDT monitors and supports every student's growth and development through ongoing observations, small group activities, and developmental screening tools. The team meets with teachers frequently throughout the year to collaborate and to discuss ways to support both the strengths and challenges of each individual student. When appropriate, CDT will make referrals for evaluations and therapy. Though team members do not provide individual therapy, they work collaboratively with outside specialists. The Child Development Team is instrumental in providing parent education throughout the year and is always available to talk or meet with parents to answer questions or discuss any issues of concern.
Every child at NCRC is part of our inclusion program. All children benefit from the presence of the professionals on the Child Development Team that support the work done in every classroom. Throughout its history, NCRC has fostered and promoted the education of young children who benefit from additional supports and adaptations such as Occupational Therapy, Speech and Language Therapy, Physical Therapy, etc. The Child Development Team plays a key role in providing weekly enrichment groups for children in the Early Beginnings and the Play Pal programs, helping develop Individualized Learning Plans (ILPs) and Action Plans, working intensively with the children, and partnering with teachers and families to address areas of development needing additional support.
- What to Wear
- Toys at School
- Health Concerns
- School Health Consultant
- DC Health Certificate
- Reporting Illness and School Attendance
- Snacks, Lunch & Nutrition
- Nut Policy
- Guiding Behavior in the Classroom
Preschool is for learning through active and creative play. Your child needs washable, comfortable play clothes. Shoes should be sturdy, with non-slip soles, made for running and climbing. Crocs and flip flops should not be worn to school. We suggest selecting clothes that encourage your child to dress independently. When school begins, each child brings a complete change of clothing to be kept on hand for emergencies. Please label all clothing. Our children enjoy playing outdoors even in wet or snowy weather, so please dress your child accordingly. There is a Lost and Found for unlabeled items on the ground floor of the school near the elevator. Items placed in Lost and Found must be claimed within a two-week period. Unclaimed items will be donated after two weeks.
In accordance with DC health regulations, children in all-day programs are required to rest daily for a period of one hour. Children are permitted to bring a small blanket or towel or a small Beanie Baby sized stuffed toy. Pillow pets, large stuffed animals, and toys from home are not permitted for rest. Teachers provide books, audio books, and quiet music during rest. During the 2021-2022 school year, children are not required to wear masks while resting on their cots.
At NCRC your child’s health and safety are of paramount concern to us. The following information will guide you as to the requirements, protocols and procedures related to the health and well-being of your child. Please refer to the NCRC Preschool COVID-19 Guidelines (included in this handbook) for specific guidance around reporting illness and and when it is appropriate for your child to return to school.
Jeanne Romilly has joined NCRC as a School Health Consultant. Jeanne has spent her Nursing career focused on preventative health and health teaching with a breadth of experiences in clinical nursing, nursing education, nursing administration and most recently, in school health and school nursing. Jeanne holds an undergraduate degree in Nursing from SUNY Binghamton and a graduate degree in Nursing from the Catholic University of America.
The overarching goals for the Consulting Nurse Program are to: 1) ensure that student care is optimally supported, and 2) mitigate risk and exposure for the school on health-related issues. To that end, Jeanne will fulfill the following critical advisory roles:
Review current practices and protocols, and recommend best practice improvements;
Identify gaps in knowledge and develop plans for additional training;
Meet and/or consult with teachers, and/or parents as needed;
Review and update medical advisories for communication to families and staff;
Collaborate on updating Incident Reporting form(s) to capture and track illness clusters;
Jeanne will also review Action Plans and other health related information contained in Magnus, particularly for high risk students.
If a child is hurt or becomes ill, we will need to be in touch with you immediately. Please be sure your telephone numbers are up to date and that we can reach a real person, not just a voicemail, in case of an emergency.
The District of Columbia requires that families provide medical information for any child enrolled in school. For your child to attend NCRC, the DC Health Certificate must be on file and updated annually. Children with out of date health or dental certificates will not be allowed to attend classes.
The Immunization of School Students Act of 1979 states that, “All students entering and attending child care or school in the District of Columbia are required to show documented proof of complete, correctly spaced immunizations, or proof of medical or religious exemption” (DC Law 3-20, and DCMR Title 22, Chapter 1). Please ensure that your child’s immunizations are complete and up to date so they may attend school.
Please refer to the NCRC Preschool COVID-19 Guidelines (included in this handbook) for specific guidance around reporting illness and when it is appropriate for your child to return to school.
If your child or someone in your family is diagnosed with a serious contagious condition, such as strep, conjunctivitis (“pink eye”), or chicken pox, this should be reported immediately to your child’s classroom teachers and to Health@ncrcpreschool.org (Please put “Health Update” in the Subject Line).
Children may return to school only when the condition is treated and the child is not contagious. NCRC will notify other families in the class of any serious contagious condition. It is imperative that you keep in close communication with NCRC teachers and Health@ncrcpreschool.org if you or any member of your family is sick, as we have members of our school community with compromised immune systems. This is particularly important in the event of:
Any diagnosed condition or illness
Should there be the occurrence of a contagious condition in your child’s classroom (strep, flu, chicken pox, etc.,) you will receive an email from Health@ncrcpreschool.org with a Health Advisory that outlines the symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, recovery, return to school and prevention protocol.
Please let us know when your child is not coming to school. Teachers like to know why your child is out so they can understand your child’s physical and emotional needs when s/he returns to school.
If your child is not feeling well before school, and particularly if s/he has a fever (100.0 degrees Fahrenheit), diarrhea, vomiting, or an upset stomach, please keep your child home. Please follow guidelines as set forth in the NCRC Preschool COVID-19 Guidelines included in this Parent Handbook. A child must be symptom-free and have a normal temperature for 24 hours without the aid of medication before returning to school.
If your child is hurt or becomes ill while at school, we will need to be in touch with you immediately. Please be sure your telephone numbers are up to date and that we can reach a real person, not just a voicemail, in case of emergency.
Should your child become sick, s/he will be moved to a comfortable area (The Nook) away from the other children. We will notify you immediately and expect you to make arrangements for picking up your child within 30 minutes of a call. If you are unable to come, you must have an alternate pickup person identified, who can be here within 30 minutes. In the case of an injury that requires your attention, we will contact you immediately.
We may have members of our school community with compromised immune systems. The school will keep you informed of any special protocols in place. Please remember: do not send your child to school if he/she has a fever (100.0 degrees or greater), or any kind of communicable illnesses, such as chicken pox. This could be harmful to all students, but particularly so for persons with immunocompromising conditions, as they are more susceptible to infection as a result of their treatment.
Parents need to tell the school about specific conditions that may require emergency treatment, such as allergies to foods or bee stings, asthma, or other health concerns. If your child’s situation requires specific emergency treatment or medication, you need to provide detailed instructions with signed permission to administer a specific treatment.
To ensure the safety of all children, NCRC requests ongoing full disclosure of any medication that a child may need to take during the school day. A current Medication Authorization Form - signed by both the prescribing physician and a parent - must be uploaded to your child’s account in the Magnus Health Forms portal. The prescribed medicine must be provided to NCRC by a parent or caregiver in its original packaging and with its original pharmacy label clearly indicating your child’s name, the name of the medicine, the dosage, expiration date, and the name and telephone number of the child’s physician. No medicine or treatment other than emergency first aid can be given without this completed form on record. A faculty member trained in medication administration (MAT) will administer medications and will maintain a medication log recording details such as name of medication, date, time given, and any reactions observed.
Non-prescription medicines or topical ointments can be applied according to the manufacturer's instructions, provided that the parent/guardian has completed the Over the Counter Medication requirement in the Magnus Health Forms Portal. Medication instructions must note how much medication to apply based on the child’s age and weight. This includes diaper cream, sunscreen, insect repellent, and other non-medicated (free from antibiotic, antifungal, or steroidal components) topical ointments designated for child use. All non-prescription medications must be provided in their original containers, labeled with the child’s full name.
If your child has a food allergy, asthma, seizure disorder, or other medical condition(s) that requires monitoring, it is imperative that we have the appropriate Medical Action Plan (Asthma/Allergy/Seizure, etc. Plan) for his/her care at school. This form must be completed by the physician, signed by the parent, and uploaded to the Magnus Health Forms Portal. Additionally, if your child takes any life-sustaining medications for this condition, please follow the Prescription Medication requirements and instructions outlined above.
Children are asked to bring a nutritionally balanced snack to school each day. Snacks should be packed in a non-metal container, and be something the child is able to open and close independently, or with minimal adult assistance.
Children eating lunch at school should bring their food in a clearly labeled, non-metal, lunch box. Please be cognizant of our goal to teach children about good health and environmental sustainability. NCRC does not heat or refrigerate children’s lunches.
Be sure to tell your child’s teachers about any food allergies or special diets, in addition to reporting this information on the “Authorization for Child’s Emergency Medical Treatment” form, the “Allergy Action Plan Form,” and in your child’s Vital Health Record in Magnus Health Forms Portal.
Because of an increasing number of life-threatening allergies to all types of nuts, NCRC asks that you refrain from sending any products or items containing nut ingredients to school. Nuts do not have to be ingested to cause a reaction. Swift and severe anaphylactic shock can occur if a child with a nut allergy comes into contact with any nut oils. For students with food allergies, please discuss with your child’s teachers and upload your child’s Allergy Action Plan (as completed by his/her physician) to the Magnus Health Forms Portal. Additional information and helpful suggestions will be sent home to parents of children who bring a lunch to school.
The health and safety of children is of paramount importance. We strive to make our preschool a safe and healthy place for children, parents, faculty, and volunteers. NCRC follows safety precautions and regulations as outlined by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).
When a child is hurt at school, parents are notified. Because of our confidentiality practice, if the injury involves another child, the identities of the child and family will not be disclosed.
A child who has physically hurt a peer (bite, punch, kick, etc.) will be removed from the vicinity of other children until, if appropriate, they are ready to rejoin the group. A teacher or other appropriate faculty member will also speak with the child regarding the incident and an alternative plan of action for the future will be developed. Parents will be contacted immediately. Depending on the emotional/behavioral stability of the child, NCRC reserves the right to request that the child be picked up and taken home. If there is a consistent pattern of inappropriate behavior, NCRC faculty in partnership with the Child Development Team will generate strategies in collaboration with the child’s family to help the child manage his or her behavior. At such time, it will be determined if referrals for outside consultants (i.e. behavior specialists, psychologists, etc.) are appropriate. Should a pattern of inappropriate behavior continue, a meeting with parents and NCRC faculty will be held to determine whether additional support beyond the school is necessary to support the child. For a full description of NCRC’s safety policy or any questions regarding this policy, please see the School Counselor.
To ensure a safe and secure environment for students, staff, and visitors, and to prevent the loss of, or damage to school property, NCRC operates a system of CCTV cameras installed throughout the buildings and grounds, as well as an emergency public address system. NCRC retains security video footage for 30 days. Video footage is reviewed only in the event that an illegal or inappropriate activity has been reported or - at the discretion of the Head of School - in the event of an incident involving children or staff. Video footage is not provided to third parties, except as required by law.
In addition to the front door intercom/doorbell, there is a self-closing arm on the rear gate at the top of the steps on Ordway Street with an entry control and locking mechanism. The rear gate is locked during school hours (8:45am-3:30pm). For access during school hours, ring the intercom button. To exit, release the gate by pushing the exit button on the exterior Playhouse wall.
A very important part of the preschool experience is helping children learn how to get along in the world. Children benefit from and enjoy being with other children and they learn how to follow the direction of an adult other than their parents. Teachers focus on the positive behaviors of the children and reinforce those behaviors as often as possible.
Behavioral guidance is built on strong teacher-child relationships and is developmentally appropriate, including techniques such as identification of feelings, redirection, brief separation from the problem situation, talking about the situation, and praise for appropriate behavior. Our goal is to help children develop self-management skills.
Children are gently guided toward appropriate behavior by experienced faculty and the Child Development Team. Every child’s developmental level is considered regarding behavioral expectations. Parents are our partners in setting and carrying out behavioral goals, and they are always informed of any concerns and offered support as needed from the School Counselor, Head of School, Assistant Head of School, the Child Development Team, and teachers. Corporal punishment is not used at NCRC.
To ensure the safety and health of all students, and faculty, and In alignment with the staggered arrival and dismissal schedule for the 2021-2022 school year, we request the following:
Prompt arrival to school at the assigned arrival time. Arriving on time supports each child’s transition into the school day and avoids disruption to the other students.
Prompt arrival for your child’s assigned dismissal time. Children will be dismissed directly to a parent or other caregiver at the child’s designated dismissal location.
NCRC’s location in a residential neighborhood brings many cars onto an otherwise very quiet street. Traffic procedures are critical to promote safety, to show respect to our neighbors, and to ease traffic in the community. Parents/caregivers are requested to park in a legal parking area on the street (between green zone signs. ) NCRC will provide detailed written traffic procedures. By signing the enrollment contract, parents agree to comply with these procedures. A copy of current NCRC Traffic Procedures is given to each family at the beginning of the school year. Extra copies of these procedures are available in the front office. Parents are required to sign a Traffic Agreement acknowledging their obligation to abide by the procedures.
- Respectful Community
- Parent Conferences
- School Communications
- Classroom Email & Voicemail
- Social Media
- Parent Participation
- Gifts to Faculty
All adults (faculty, parents, caregivers, and guests) have the responsibility to model respectful and cooperative behavior. Positive and constructive working relationships built on direct and honest communication ensure that the best interests of the children will be maintained in a warm and nurturing community.
Parent/Teacher conferences play an important role in sharing information about your child’s progress in school. We view conferences as a wonderful opportunity to exchange information and to engage your participation in planning educational goals for your child. Your questions or concerns are always welcome. Our teaching teams schedule half-hour parent conferences in early fall and spring. In addition, you are welcome to set up a meeting with the teaching team whenever the need arises. The teaching teams prepare a written progress report for each child at the end of the school year.
School notices such as class news, the Head of School’s communication, and Room Parent communications are sent via email. Additional information from the school about school events, lectures, and other items of interest to parents will be included in the weekly newsletter, Sunday Scoop, which parents are sent via email. Please be on the lookout for this information.
If you have a comment, question, or concern about classroom practices, please begin by bringing it to the teaching team’s attention. Questions about other aspects of the school should be addressed to the appropriate faculty member. Parents are invited to schedule appointments with the Head of School at any time.
On Back to School Night, teachers present their class schedule, curricular approach, and development goals to families. Classroom news and announcements are distributed weekly via email communication.
Each classroom has a voicemail message box and a classroom email address. These are excellent ways to be in touch with your child’s teachers. Often, teachers will not have an opportunity to check their voicemail or email until the end of the day. If your message requires immediate attention, please let the School’s Office Manager know. In addition, teachers may be contacted by email according to the guidelines set by the classroom teachers.
Parents also can pin notes to the outside of the child’s bag to communicate information to classroom teachers.
The growth and expansion of “social networking” technology provides multiple ways for people to connect. It also creates the potential to impact work and social relationships, and can possibly raise conflict of interest, unequal treatment, discrimination, or similar concerns. NCRC’s policy prohibits faculty from initiating or accepting “friend” requests from current or prospective parents.
Parent participation in the classroom and school activities is encouraged at NCRC. Parents and grandparents are invited to participate in classroom activities by sharing a special book, a family tradition, or a personal skill. Please schedule visits with the teachers so a convenient time can be arranged. In addition, special events are held for grandparents throughout the school year. Notification is sent via email. To verify whether a grandparent is on the email communication list, please contact the Advancement Office.
Classroom Parent email groups are not to be used for non-school-related communications, (i.e. party invitations, solicitations, marketing of goods and services, playdates, sports teams, etc.)
There are no organized class gifts for faculty at the holidays. Showing your gratitude in any way that you deem appropriate is appreciated, but it is not required. Giving gifts is a personal and individual choice for parents. An end-of the-year class gift for teachers is coordinated by room parents from remaining Activity Fee funds.
All visitors to the school must sign in and out at the Front Office. Visitors will be given a badge to wear on campus. We welcome families and friends to our classrooms. Please make arrangements in advance with the teachers. At this time we are not permitting visitors to the school. Please see the COVID-19 Guidelines for more information.
Any parent or guardian of a child enrolled at NCRC has access to the child’s student record. If you wish to review your child’s record, please contact the Head of School’s office. The school will not disclose information concerning an individual child or the child’s parent(s) or guardian(s) to persons other than the school faculty or government officials acting in the course of their duties, unless the parent(s) or guardian(s) grant written permission for disclosure, or unless disclosure is necessary in an emergency situation.
During the year, teaching teams prepare recommendations for children applying to ongoing schools. Recommendations are sent only to schools specified by the parents. These recommendations are confidential and are not part of a child’s student record.
Many factors guide class placement while we intentionally consider the needs of each child within the composition of the overall class. Each child is placed in a class for the school year based on her/ his educational and developmental needs and according to our school’s licensing and age requirements. We seek to balance gender, ethnic, racial and economic diversity, age span, and personality characteristics in each class. These factors combined with the recommendations of teachers and the Child Development Team determine the class assignments at NCRC. Class placements are shared with teachers and parents only once finalized in mid to late August.
Siblings applying to NCRC are given priority in the Admissions process. Applications for siblings of current and returning NCRC families must be received by November 15 to be given sibling preference. Applications received after November 15 will be placed in the general applicant pool.
The Admissions Committee considers numerous factors involved in placement to ensure a balanced classroom. Class placements focus on a child's developmental needs and we strive to create classes that reflect the NCRC community. The Admissions Committee will do their best to work with each family's needs, while ensuring a balanced classroom for the children within the applicant pool.
For families who applied during the sibling priority period, placement notification is shared with sibling families in early February. Enrollment Agreements for siblings will be issued to families in early February with the details of the child's program placement. We cannot guarantee morning or afternoon placement.
Applicants need to be 2 years old by August 1. Sibling applicants whose birthday falls between August 1 and the first day of school should reach out to the Admissions Team directly.
The Board of Trustees is responsible for governance of the school through creating and implementing a strategic plan, establishing and monitoring the budget, enacting policies, and supporting advancement programs. Board members are primarily current or former school parents who serve a three-year term. Current Board members are listed in this handbook and on the school’s website. Questions or suggestions about the Board of Trustees should be directed to the Board Chair.
All fundraising activities are governed by the mission, policies, and strategic plan of the Board of Trustees; and by the practices and procedures of the Board’s Advancement Committee and the Advancement Office. Fundraising campaigns and community-building events are usually scheduled well in advance and carefully spaced throughout the school year. New ideas or suggestions are welcomed and should be directed to the Chair of the Advancement Committee and/ or the Director of Advancement.
The Parent Association (PA) plays an active role in the life of the school. The PA organizes special events (such as Family Work Day, Pumpkin Party, Pajama Picnic, Cookie Social, and Faculty Appreciation Luncheon), coordinates the room parent program, and seeks to incorporate your talents and energies into the life of the school. Participation in PA activities benefits your child and the school. The PA Participation Form and more information are available online at ncrcpreschool.org. All parents are members of the Parent Association.
- School Calendar
- Special Days
- Faculty Professional Development Days
- School Closings & Delays
The School Calendar can be found at ncrcpreschool.org and is included in this handbook/directory. Key dates such as faculty professional days, parent conferences, vacations, and Parent Association events (e.g. Auction, Pumpkin Party, and Pajama Picnic) are set prior to the beginning of the school year. Anyone proposing additional school-wide events should discuss the proposal with the Head of School and, if appropriate, the Chair of the Board of Trustees, and/or the Parent Association President.
Due to health and safety considerations as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, during the 2021-2022 school year, teachers will coordinate with parents to join the celebration virtually, and read a special book to the class for their child's birthday. Parents may send to school the book(s) read for their child’s birthday and donate that book to the library. A birthday plate with their child’s name and age will be placed in the book and added to our library collection. In addition, each classroom has designed its own birthday celebration tradition. NCRC asks families not to send in food of any kind.
Special holidays, patriotic, and religious days are discussed as part of the school curriculum. Secular aspects and historical facts are presented. Parents are invited to share information and participate in classroom activities on these occasions. Parents should speak with classroom teachers prior to the occasion to ensure that activities are developmentally appropriate.
Professional development for faculty is an important part of NCRC’s mission. Faculty members participate in workshops and attend lectures on a variety of topics related to early childhood education and curriculum development. Days set aside for faculty professional development during the year are included on the school calendar. Please mark these days in your calendar. Professional Development days are scheduled either for full or half-days. Children do not attend when Professional Development is a full day. On half-days, the school schedule is modified for Treetop and Explorer classes and either the AM or PM classes are cancelled.
NCRC may open late or close early due to inclement weather conditions or other unforeseen emergencies. Parents will be notified of school closings and late openings via email, an emergency announcement on the school’s website, and via push notification from the NCRC mobile app. When school is closed, the main phone line voicemail will also carry the message.
NCRC’s mission includes our commitment to a diverse, respectful community. The school’s definition of diversity includes socio-economic diversity. NCRC provides a need-based Tuition Assistance Program. We encourage any family who may benefit from ANY LEVEL of tuition assistance to consider applying. Any Tuition Assistance award is based on the family's financial reports coupled with the overall availability of NCRC’s Tuition Assistance Program funds. NCRC's goal is to optimally support all qualifying families with the fund resources available.
On the evening of the Tuition Assistance Auction, we express our appreciation for the mission and values of our preschool as we gather with the entire NCRC community (adults only) in a spirit of joy and celebration. All proceeds from the Auction are dedicated to tuition assistance. Families interested in Tuition Assistance should contact the Tuition Assistance Coordinator for information and a copy of NCRC’s tuition assistance policy.
NCRC does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, national origin (including English Language Learners), age, disability, genetic information, personal appearance, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other protected characteristic in the administration of its educational policies, admission policies, tuition assistance, or any other school-administered programs.
The goal of this document is to address all COVID-19 risk mitigation strategies, including:
Building a COVID-19 aware community
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Minimizing shared objects
Limiting in-person gatherings in the classrooms, playground, leadership meetings, professional development, and parent/community events
Limiting travel, outside of school exposure, and visitors within the building
Promoting and supporting sanitation/hygiene measures
Aligning school policies to support mitigation
Developing and communicating containment and health screening protocols
Creating the best practices for business and learning continuity
Assessing all policies and procedures, communicating frequently, and revising as needed.
Phase Two Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19): Sample Health Screening (DC Health 7/16/20)
CDC Childcare Guidance (CDC 7/23/20)
CDC School Guidance (CDC 8/01/20)
Policies & Procedures:
- The NCRC Nook
- Handwashing and Hand Sanitizer Dispensers
- Daily Health Screenings
- Face Masks
- Weekly Testing
- COVID-19 Cases
- Returning to NCRC After an Illness or Test
- Positive Test Results
- Exclusion, Dismissal, and Return Criteria
- Community Communication Regarding COVID-19
- Plan "A" Arrivals & Dismissals
- Arriving via Bike, Scooter, or Stroller
- Plan "A" Dismissal
- Daily Mitigation Protocols and Practices
- COVID-19 Community Metrics & Closure Guidelines
At this time, it’s recommended to refrain from all nonessential travel. Any necessary travel should follow best safety practices and CDC recommendations to prevent the spread of disease. Unvaccinated and partially vaccinated members of our school community are required by the District to quarantine themselves for 7 days. For those seeking to test out of travel quarantine, they must follow NCRC's strict guidance and required timelines for testing once returning from any travel outside of the DMV. Even if there are no symptoms (i.e. a mild cough, low grade fever, a temperature of 100 degrees, or more) the student must stay at home and self-isolate. Before returning to NCRC after travel all families must submit the NCRC Family Travel Form.
In efforts to mitigate the spread of illness on campus, we have a safe, quiet, and cozy room for children and faculty for rest and health assessment if they become ill during the school day. The Nook, formerly the Office of Special Programs, is on the Lower Level, next to the back stairwell. The Nook is not a health station; it is a location where a child or faculty member who develops a fever or becomes ill can wait comfortably and safely to be retrieved from school. It is also in this area where assigned faculty will take steps to document, track, and trace contacts in support of the process of working with DC Health.
For the 2021-22 school year, visitors, vendors, and parents will not be allowed into the school building unless it is absolutely necessary. All vendors and building related maintenance will be scheduled for either before or after school hours, except in the event of an emergency or an immediate need for function or safety. Visitors, therapists, student support personnel, family members, employee’s children and parents of students are only allowed into the school based on the decision of the Head of School. Any person allowed to enter the school facilities will be required to: submit a health screening; wear a face mask; practice physical distancing; wash or sanitize their hands; and always be under the supervision of an NCRC faculty member.
The NCRC playground is for NCRC students and program use from 7AM-3:30PM when school is in session. The playground is open to the NCRC community and general public starting at 5pm on weekdays and open on the weekends. Following the Mayor's public health order, masks are mandatory for visitors aged 2 and older.
Due to the declared public health emergency of COVID-19 as a global pandemic, safety signs, reminders of best practices, and information has been posted throughout the school. Additional signage has been placed in bathrooms, high-traffic areas, and any limited area of congration to remind members of the NCRC community to wash hands and maintain physical distancing.
Students, teachers, and faculty will be required to have temperature and health screening checks daily. It is necessary that everyone takes the time to assess their health every morning by taking their temperature and completing the Magnus COVID-19 health profile. Faculty and staff are required to do this assessment before 7:00 AM each morning. Answering “yes” to any of the questions on the Magnus is not an automatic reason to not attend NCRC, but may require additional assessment prior to entering the school building. If you or a member of your household is sick, please contact Molli Anderson as soon as possible. Upon arrival, students are required to have a physical temperature screening at their assigned entrance, and the Magnus health screening results will be reviewed. Anyone with a waking temperature of 100F or above will be asked to refrain from attending NCRC. Anyone with 100.4F will not be allowed in the facilities and will be sent home. Scheduled temperature checks will be done throughout the school day to maintain a healthy school campus.
The use of face coverings is required in the District of Columbia and at NCRC. Masks with valves or vents are NOT permitted. Please ensure that your student wears simple, multi-layered, washable cloth face coverings to prevent the spread of large respiratory droplets. (Please note that faculty members and children are required to have three or more with them each day in case a mask gets soiled or wet.) Masks must be worn in the presence of others, even if physically distanced, on the playground and in all public and common spaces. The term ‘public common spaces’ includes classrooms, public restrooms, elevators, stairwells, communal kitchens and workspaces.
NCRC is not requiring a specific color or brand of mask. The school is open to creative designs provided they do not: promote any political agenda or make a political statement or contain signs or symbols which reasonably appear to offend and/or which disrupt or interfere with the educational setting and/or process. Please refer to this guide to see how to put on and take off your mask correctly.
Masks are a supplement to–not a substitute for–other preventive measures. They are intended as an added layer of protection on top of physical distancing and other common sense protections,; like frequent handwashing, use of hand sanitizer, working and conducting other activities remotely, and staying home when sick or experiencing common symptoms of coronavirus. The CDC has issued instructions for making cloth face masks and recommends cloth masks that:
Fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face;
Are secured with ties or ear loop;
Include multiple layers of fabric;
Allow for breathing without restriction;
Can be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape (Cloth face coverings should be washed after every day of use and/or before being used again, or if visibly soiled);
Are never shared or swapped with others;
Are clearly identified with student’s names or initials to avoid confusion or swapping;
Are labeled to indicate top/bottom and front/back;
Are stored in a space designated for each student that is separate from others when not being worn (e.g., in individually labeled containers or bags, personal lockers, or cubbies);
Clearly show, or are designed to distinguish, which side of the covering should be worn facing outwards.
Any member of the NCRC community who has any identified symptoms of illness will be expected to stay at home. Anyone with new and unexplained COVID-19 symptoms should seek medical care or testing.
NCRC plans to quickly assess and isolate a student or adult showing signs of illness. As a reminder, COVID-19 symptoms may include: fever or chills, cough, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, shortness of breath/difficulty breathing, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea. We will ensure that any member of the school community who presents with the above identified COVID-19 symptoms be moved to the NCRC Nook for further evaluation and record keeping protocol. The sick individual will continue wearing a mask. The person caring for the sick individual will also wear a mask, gown, face shield, and disposable booties and will stay with the student or faculty member until they have safely left the building. NCRC will contact a student’s family immediately and the student must be picked up within 30 minutes of the call. Once the parent arrives they will retrieve their students from the playground, outside of the mezzanine elevator entrance. Any faculty member presenting with these symptoms can and will be asked to leave campus after their situation has been documented.
Implement process for informing parents/caregivers;
implement procedure for separating sick students and staff;
move sick student or staff member to isolation area;
dismiss of sick person through the mezzanine entrance/exit.
If any member within the NCRC community becomes symptomatic and seeks a PCR test for COVID-19, they must immediately contact NCRC and refrain from coming to school until test results are received. If the test is negative (with supporting documentation from DC Health, lab or doctor) or they have followed quarantining guidance for 10 days following a positive test, they may return to NCRC for inperson opportunities.NCRC will be reporting to and following the guidance of DC Health and using their protocols for the management of any positive case or exposure.
The 2021-2022 school year brings about several changes within NCRC’s general health protocols, if anyone is sick during this school year the following procedures must be adhered to in order to return to school:
Seek the attention of a medical physician to determine if the illness warrants a test for COVID-19, or if there is an alternative diagnosis with physician instructions of when to return to NCRC.
If sent for testing and the results are negative, the member of the community can return to in-person learning after: being able to present their negative result, they are fever-free and symptom-free for 24 hours without medication, and/or after 10 days have passed since the symptoms first appeared.
If a member of the NCRC community takes a COVID-19 test, they can not return to school until they have received their results of negative and meet the above criteria.
Exclusion — When a child should remain at home
Dismissal — When a child will be sent home for health related concerns
Return — When a child should return to school after an illness
COVID-19 RELATED GUIDELINES ON EXCLUSION
The following are essential points for staying at home and not being admitted to NCRC:
Students exhibiting a fever of 100 degrees or higher or any of the symptoms listed within the daily screening must stay home from NCRC and contact their health care provider.
Students awaiting a COVID-19 test result, or who have themselves been confirmed to have COVID-19, must stay home from NCRC and fully follow medical advice and quarantine.
Students who have been in close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case must stay home for 10 days, or has returned from travel to a DC from outside of the DMV must stay home from NCRC for 7 days.
Families of children with pre-existing health conditions that present with COVID-19-like symptoms should talk with their child’s health care provider to seek written documentation that those specific symptoms are not due to COVID-19. This information can be uploaded to the Magnus site.
COVID-19 RELATED GUIDELINES ON DISMISSAL
If a student develops a fever or other signs/symptoms of illness, families will be contacted for early dismissal of their child. These situations include:
Students who develop symptoms during the school day will immediately go with an identified staff member to the NCRC Nook for isolation and comfort until the child’s parent/guardian arrives.
Once the student’s adults have been notified, the parent/guardian needs to pick-up the student as soon as possible (within 30 minutes) and then take their child to seek health care provider guidance.
Once the adult arrives, they must call the front office (202-363-8777). A faculty member will direct the adult to the elevator exit to retrieve their child directly from the faculty member who was with their child in the Nook.
COVID-19 RELATED GUIDELINES ON RETURNING TO SCHOOL
Please know that this RETURN CRITERIA represents general criteria. In all cases, personal guidance from DC Health or a healthcare provider could override this guidance on an individual basis.
Have displayed COVID-19 symptoms but healthcare provider does not recommend testing: Family must submit documentation from a healthcare provider of an alternate diagnosis and the criteria to return after illness. (24 hours fever free without medication or at least 10 days from symptoms first appearing).
Have displayed COVID-19 symptoms and student is tested*: If POSITIVE and symptomatic the student may return after the DC Health or healthcare provider’s assigned quarantine period if they are at least 24 hours fever free without the use of fever-reducing medications, and respiratory symptoms have improved, and at least 10 days have elapsed since symptoms first appeared. If POSITIVE and asymptomatic the student may return after the DC Health or healthcare provider’s assigned quarantine period. If NEGATIVE the student may return when they have met the standard criteria to return after an illness (24 hours fever free without medication and at least 10 days from symptoms first appearing) or with documentation from a healthcare provider.
*Please note that while awaiting test results, the student is EXCLUDED from attending in person learning.
Have been in close contact of an individual with confirmed COVID-19:
May return 10 days from last exposure to COVID-19 positive individual(s), or as instructed by DC Health.
If the close contact is a household member, the 10 days from last exposure only counts if the individual(s) have been 100% isolated. If unable to confirm or provide 100%, the student may return to NCRC after quarantining 10 days from the end of COVID-19 positive individual’s infectious period, 24 hours fever free without medication and at least 10 days from symptoms first appearing, whichever is later).
Has personally traveled outside of the DMV:
May return 7 days from return or arrival to the District of Columbia (or DMV area if you reside outside of DC and your child attends NCRC you must follow this guidance).
Or follow NCRC's strict guidance of seeking a negative COVID-19 test after returning and submitting results to NCRC.
If there is a positive case of COVID-19 within the NCRC community, processes for cleaning and communication are in place. The entire school community will be notified from Health@ncrcpreschool.org and the detailed steps of our cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfection processes will be shared. If there are students who are deemed to be close contacts based on the case investigation, those specific families will be notified of the requirement for their child to quarantine for 10 days.
Front Door: Bunny AM, Butterfly AM/PM, Duckling, Treetop
All classes listed above will arrive at the front door for a health screening and entry. Social distancing markers will be installed along the semicircle sidewalk in front of the school. All parents will need to park on Highland Place or Newark St. to walk students to the front steps.
Side Door: Beehive, Starlight, Sunshine
All of the classes listed above will arrive at the side door of NCRC for a health screening and entry. Social distancing markers will be installed along the sidewalk curb in front of the magnolia trees as well as along the sidewalk leading to the front playground gate. All parents will have the option to arrive from Highland Place/Newark or Ordway street and will need to park and walk students to the side door.
Rear Door: Pioneer
All of the classes listed above will arrive at the rear door of NCRC for a health screening and entry. Playhouse students will have their health screening and be directed along the nearest sidewalk for entry into the Playhouse. Social distancing markers will line the sidewalk along the sandbox and storage shed on the Little Playground. All parents will need to park on Ordway or Porter to walk students to the rear door.
Self Check in at Classroom Door: Explorer, Rainbow
All of the classes listed above will arrive at their classroom door af NCRC for a health screening and entry by their class teacher.
For students who come to NCRC via bike, scooter, or stroller these items must be stored during the school day within the recently built storage for these items. The adult that accompanies the student to NCRC will be responsible for “parking” these items in the shed after the child has entered the school. The shed can be accessed from the back/sandbox gate on the Little Playground or the “entry” sidewalk side of the building. It is highly encouraged that strollers be folded and all items are encouraged to be covered with rain bags or trash bags while stored within the shed.
Dismissal will take place at assigned times. If you arrive early for your pick-up time you can wait in your parked car or on the benches located on the ground level of the right side of the front porch. Parents, grandparents and caregivers may not congregate on the sidewalks or the yard. When waiting to pick up at their assigned time, the adult may line up on the marked sidewalk line.
Following the DC Mayor’s Order 2020-080 and 2021-097: Wearing of Masks in the District of Columbia To Prevent the Spread of COVID-19, the use of face coverings is required in the District of Columbia and at NCRC.
Teachers will work with students (using age appropriate guidance and dialog) to teach children proper removal, storage and wearing of masks. Yet, parents must partner closely with faculty given the importance of reinforcing the proper and consistent wearing of masks and the practice of mask care.
The school will be providing all students with one mask.
Families are required to send a minimum of three masks with their half-day student and five masks with full-day students, daily when attending NCRC. Students’ cloth face coverings should be clearly identified with their names or initials, to avoid confusion or swapping, and a bag for solid masks must be sent daily.
Simple washable cloth face coverings made of 2 or more layers of cotton that fit flush to the cheeks and cover from the brim of the nose to under the chin are recommended. Masks that fit young children well is a great resource and lists a variety of styles that have proven to be successful for our young population.
Disposable masks, like FDA approved KN95s must be approved on a case-by-case basis given the importance of ensuring proper fit.
NCRC is not requiring a specific color or brand of mask, in fact we are open to creative designs provided they do not promote any political agenda or make a political statement, contains signs or symbols which reasonably appears to offend and/or which disrupts or interferes with the educational setting and/or process.
Snack, lunch, and rest are times during the day when masks will be safely removed and students will return to wearing their masks once they transition from those tasks.
- NCRC’s mask policy includes while students are on the Playground. Please note that for all adults and children, when on NCRC campus for drop-off, pick-up, or even time after hours on the playground, masks are required while on the school property
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) For Faculty & Staff:
PPE is protective clothing, masks, goggles, or other garments or equipment designed to protect the wearer's body from injury or infection. As referenced in their labeling, these items are for personal use and generally designed for one time use (then disposed of or washed). Certain procedures also necessitate a greater need for PPE and while there are times PPE is mandated, it is also encouraged to ensure one’s comfort and safety.
Gloves (diaper changing, first aid, changing soiled clothes/shoes, etc.)
Medical masks (disposable for one-time use, or doubling if with someone who is sick).
Eye protection (glasses, goggles, face shields
Gowns (disposable to be used in the Nook).
Smocks (worn in the classrooms, cleaned daily, changed when soiled or between classes).
Closed-toe work shoes & shoe coverings (worn in the Nook & covering a classroom).
High Touch Surfaces & Cleaning:
Cleaning refers to the removal of dirt and impurities, including germs, from surfaces. Cleaning alone does not kill germs. But by removing the germs, it decreases risk of spreading infection.
NCRC has several new cleaning, disinfecting and sanitizing processes in place for the upcoming school year, that include many new products that will be used for various purposes.
Faculty will disinfect high-touch surfaces, such as faucets, toilets, door handles, handrails, light switches, toys and games.
The climbing and general equipment on the playground will be sanitized at various times of the day, and enhanced deep cleaning will take place in all areas between school days.
Restrooms will be regularly cleaned throughout the day by NCRC staff.
Trushot restroom cleaner & disinfectant will be used by the teachers or the individual user after every usage with 10-minute intervals between users.
NCRC will be using Protexus Cordless Electrostatic Sprayers (360 degree disinfection and sanitization) to disinfect classroom spaces daily including between half-day classes and at the end or beginning of every day.
NCRC’s Continued Commitment to the Health & Safety of Our Community:
100% faculty agreement & adherence to the NCRC Community Pledge;
Consistent & correct use of face masks and additional PPE;
Physical distancing measures in place & reorganization of the classrooms;
Adjusted arrival & dismissal procedures;
Regular opportunities for hand hygiene & shoe sanitation;
Cleaning, sanitizing & disinfecting of the whole campus on a daily and weekly basis;
Reduced class sizes & adjusted routines for all program levels;
Daily health screenings for all staff and children;
Communication to the community of all changes & all testing and illness centrally reported to email@example.com.
Adherence to DC’s 7 day quarantining requirements or strict test-out guidance, following travel to any of the identified high-risk states (list is currently updated every day by CDC).
NCRC’s Coronavirus Response to Test Positivity & Potential Community Outbreaks:
External factors that may call for NCRC to close & move to full virtual learning:
DC Mayor’s guidance on closure due to a citywide mandate.
The assessment of the Local (DMV) Rate of Transmission and Test Positivity.
Internal factors that would call for NCRC to close:
Three reported & unrelated confirmed COVID-19 positive cases within the school. The whole school to close for 10 days and all learning to be moved to virtual.
A confirmed COVID-19 positive case in a class. That classroom would be closed and learning for that cohort moved to virtual for 10 days.
If a COVID-19 positive case is reported in either an AM or PM section of a class. Both sections may be closed for cleaning and the identified section will be moved to virtual learning for 10 days.
A confirmed COVID-19 positive case of a school administrator or facilities member would require quarantining of their close contacts for 10 days. Close contact is defined as someone who: 1. was in direct contact with infectious secretions, i.e. sneezed or coughed on, or 2. was within approximately 6 feet for a prolonged period of time (greater than fifteen minutes, cumulatively over a 24-hour period) of the positive person.
NCRC’s Coronavirus Response to Test Positivity & Potential Community Outbreaks (Continued):
Please Note: Any member of the community seeking to receive a PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) COVID-19 test after an NCRC closure or notice of a positive case in the community is highly recommended to wait until day three to five after the student or faculty member’s last known contact, or date of notification, unless symptoms appear first.
Issues related to faculty absenteeism and an inability to adequately staff a class/classes (adhering to OSSE and safety regulations) may call for the closure of a class/classes and for learning to be moved to virtual learning for a class, cohort, or the whole school.
A large percentage of community absenteeism (e.g. flu or illness related) may result in a school closure.
When a Confirmed Positive Case Is Within the NCRC Campus Community:
The entire NCRC community will be notified.
NCRC will follow all cleaning, disinfection, and sanitation protocols and procedures outlined in the guidance from DC Health, OSSE, and CDC.
An impacted cohort will receive notification to quarantine for 10 days and be provided with detailed information about the transition to virtual learning.
DC Health will be notified, and NCRC will fully cooperate with their contact tracing process by providing any necessary information.
When a Parent or Household Member of a Student or Faculty Member Tests Positive for Coronavirus:
The student or faculty member must quarantine for 10 to 28 days, depending on the last day of known contact with the positive parent/household member. (Contact requires 10 to 14 days of quarantining from the last known date of contact with a person who has been tested positive for COVID-19. Given that NCRC is a community of young children and those who nurture and care for others, if 100% separation is not possible by the student or faculty member and they don’t contract the virus themselves, the maximum length of the quarantine would be 28 days (the 14 days of the positive person’s quarantine and the subsequent 14 days due to exposure). If the student or faculty member does acquire the COVID-19, their quarantine time will follow the guidance of a medical practitioner).