Welcome to Bethlehem Preschool
BETHLEHEM COVENANT CHURCH
The church is the body of Christ in the world today. We believe the church is a fellowship of believers and seekers, desiring to grow and learn what it means to follow Christ every day. We believe the church is more than just a program on Sunday, but a movement that began 2000 years ago. We believe we are called to love God and love others well, and be a witness of the saving grace of God.
THE BETHLEHEM PRESCHOOL
Early childhood Christian education is a team effort comprised of school, parents, and church community partnering to build children’s love of learning in a nurturing environment. Children need a core foundation, built by active learning experiences encompassing spiritual, social/emotional, physical development/health, language, literacy, communication, mathematics, science, social studies, and creative arts learning. Children process new experiences differently depending upon their prior knowledge, experiences, and preferred learning styles. With this in mind, early childhood educational lessons and play opportunities vary in structure (large and small group activities, individual exploration, teacher-led and student-led, hands-on, verbal, visual, musical) and strive to guide children to be themselves, be kind, and love God.
Education Director and Teacher
Darcia has a dual undergraduate degree in elementary education and special education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She received her Master’s of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from Doane College. Darcia holds an endorsement in Early Childhood Education, is a trained Reading Recovery teacher, and is First Aid/CPR certified. Her teaching experience includes special education, preschool, first grade, Kindergarten, Reading Recovery and reading intervention at Millard Public Schools, T.L.C. Preschool, and Lincoln Public Schools. Darcia is married to Jeff, a teacher at Waverly’s middle school, and they have two daughters, Zoe and Alana. She loves to spend time with her family and in addition, enjoys reading, traveling, cooking, and exploring nature. Darcia is always up for a discussion on children, their development, successes, challenges, and joyful attitudes.
Business Director and Teacher
Colyn is a graduate of Bryan School of Nursing with a degree in nursing. With her first love being children, she has worked in maternal/newborn care, as well as pediatric special needs. Colyn has also owned her own home child care business. In 2008, Colyn intertwined her love of children and photography, and opened Life Studio, a photography studio specializing in newborn photography. Colyn and her husband Jim have three children: Ava, Paityn, and Aidan. Her family shares a love of the outdoors and can often be found camping and riding ATVs together. When she's not enjoying the outdoors or working on restoring her great grandparents' farm house, Colyn’s creativity often finds her making candles, crafting, or baking something scrumptious.
Bethlehem Preschool is advised by a committee comprised of Bethlehem Covenant Church members and parents of preschoolers.
SCHEDULE OF CLASSES
Tuesday and Thursday
3 & 4-year-olds
Monday, Wednesday, and Friday
4 & 5-year-olds
Bethlehem Preschool welcomes all children who are three years of age by July 31, and are toilet trained. Please feel free to bring special circumstances to the attention of the preschool staff.
You are invited to schedule a visit during class time to see our preschool in action and meet the preschool staff. To register your child, please complete and return the registration form along with a non-refundable registration fee of $50.00. Classes accommodate 10-12 students each.
An enrollment email will be sent to you in late July. Your child will be fully enrolled once enrollment and immunization record forms are complete and returned to Bethlehem Preschool. Enrollment forms must be on file by the first day of attendance. Please inform the preschool director when your child receives additional immunizations so your child’s immunization record on file may be updated.
Families wishing to increase their child's ability to attend Bethlehem Preschool may submit a completed registration form at any time of the year for any future school year. Families will be added to a waiting list based on the date the registration form is received. The registration form may be accessed on our website. A registration fee will be due the first of February, of the desired enrollment year, when a space is confirmed available.
Please make tuition payments by check, payable to Bethlehem Covenant Church. There will be a $35.00 charge for checks returned for insufficient funds. Tuition is due the first school day of each month. Payments not made by that date will be considered delinquent and a $25.00 late fee will be assessed. Please be prompt with your payment as we are a non-profit organization and depend on your payment each month to meet our expenses. If payment is not received in a timely manner, we will consider your child withdrawn from the preschool and his/her place will be filled from our waiting list. Refunds of tuition will not be made unless prolonged student illness occurs, and will be handled on an individual basis.
THE SCHOOL DAY
Please escort your child to and from the classroom. For the safety of your child, we ask that you sign him/her in and out each day. Children are welcome to enter at 8:25 and will be dismissed to their designated adult at 11:30. A $10.00 late fee will be charged for a child picked up after 11:35. An additional $10.00 charge will be assessed for each additional block of 10 minutes. Parents will be asked to sign an acknowledgment of late pick-up and the fee will be billed with the next month’s tuition or may be paid by check immediately.
Please inform the teacher in writing if a person other than the parent or regular car-pool driver will be picking up your child. At pick-up time, this person must present photo identification to the teacher prior to leaving with the preschool student.
Each school day your child should arrive equipped with a backpack, individual snack of two food groups, water bottle, and a change of clothing. Spare clothing should be season-appropriate and remain in your child’s backpack. Please send boots on snowy days.
Activities during the school day will include creative, sometimes messy indoor and outdoor play. Please dress your child in weather-appropriate clothing and shoes that allows for comfort and freedom to fully engage in all activities. Clothing with fasteners your child can manipulate independently are highly encouraged. Rubber soled shoes are safest for preschool activities. Please refrain from flip-flops and slippery-soled shoes. Hats and mittens are necessary for cold weather days, as we will go outside daily.
We ask that any clothing items that may be removed during class time (sweatshirts, sweaters, coats, hats and mittens) be clearly labeled with your child’s name.
With great appreciation, we will accept donations of facial tissue, napkins, paper towels, construction paper, copy paper, glue sticks, tape, and washable markers. We also can use recycled items such as old electronics, craft materials, and small boxes.
Each day will include a short snack break. Please send a small snack, covering two food groups, in your child’s backpack. Fruit, vegetables, dry cereal, granola bars, Goldfish crackers, a small sandwich, or cheese cubes are good choices. Please make sure all items are peeled, cut, and easy for your child to access independently. Water will be provided.
Students will sometimes prepare their own snacks during class. On these days, a snack from home will not be needed. Student cooking activities will be noted in the monthly preschool newsletter.
Bethlehem Preschool is a structured learning environment. For every child, we will implement adaptations in teaching strategies, learning environment, and curricula. We will consult with the family and seek recommendations from appropriate specialists to maximize the potential of the child to benefit from the program. If, after these efforts have been made, the child does not appear to be benefiting from the program, or the child is seriously jeopardizing the ability of the other children to benefit from the program, we will work with the family to identify the setting and services best suited to meet the needs of the child and assist in placing the child in the appropriate educational setting.
You are welcome to observe your child’s class. We urge you to refrain from bringing other children on your visit, as they may be distracting to both you and the students.
Contact the preschool if your child will not be attending class. If the absence is due to illness, we ask that you notify us, so that communicable diseases may be tracked.
HEALTH AND SAFETY
Handwashing: All staff and students will wash hands after using the restroom, before eating, and after handling any visiting animals.
It is the policy of Bethlehem Preschool to exclude any child who has any illness associated with a fever (in the last 24 hours) or any communicable condition.
Please keep your child at home when your child has had:
- a severe, continuous cough or heavy nasal discharge
- fever above 100.4 degrees in the last 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing medication
- vomiting/diarrhea in the last 24 hours
- inflamed eyes
- an unexplained rash
- head lice. Children are to stay home until they are lice and nit free.
If a parent wishes not to exclude his/her child, he or she must provide a written statement from a physician indicating that the child’s illness/condition in not highly communicable.
Parents of all enrolled children will be informed of any case of reportable communicable disease on the same day the preschool staff is informed or observes the illness.
Allergies, Medical Condition/Restrictions: Please share this with the preschool director.
Accidents: Parents will be notified of all accidents occurring during school. The staff is First Aid and CPR certified and they will give immediate care to children incurring minor injuries. Parents will be notified immediately of more serious injuries so that a care plan can be made.
Inclement weather plan: Bethlehem Preschool will honor the Waverly Public School closings. If Waverly Schools are not in session, Bethlehem Preschool will also be closed. Afternoon, evening, and weekend preschool events count as snow day make-up days.
Fire and Tornado Drills will be practiced once each month and four times per year, respectively.
At Bethlehem Preschool we believe children are most successful in the classroom when behavioral and academic expectations are clearly shared before an activity begins. Discipline techniques will include problem solving, modeling appropriate behaviors, positive reinforcement, natural consequences, and redirection. Students choosing behaviors that are not conducive to the success of the activity, or harmful to self or others, will be guided toward a satisfactory solution in a graceful, teaching manner. Any repeated behavioral challenge will be shared with parents for greater insight and team problem solving. At no time will verbal or physical punishment take place.
At the start of each month, a newsletter outlining highlights and special events of the month will be emailed to you. Information will also be posted on the preschool’s Facebook page and website.
Teachers will be available for brief discussions before and after class. Please schedule, in advance, any need to conference at greater length.
Parent/Teacher Conferences will be held in February.
Daily observational notes of student behaviors and interests are recorded by teachers to identify strengths, guide interactions with children, assess children’s development, and support the team planning process. These anecdotal notes of children’s behaviors are also used to complete a progress report that is shared with parents at conferences.
We look forward to our monthly Children’s Chapel when one of the church staff will meet with our preschool students to share about God and His love for us.
Families are a vital part of the educational process at Bethlehem Preschool. Family members are invited to join us for our morning greeting time, family lunches, special Saturday outings and activities, and performance events.
Birthdays are a very special and exciting event for children. Each child’s birthday will be honored.
Your child is welcome to share a snack as part of the birthday celebration. Please keep birthday snacks simple and inexpensive. Please avoid cupcakes or frosted cookies as they are very difficult to manage in a classroom setting. Healthy treats are welcome.
Preschoolers with summer birthdays are invited to celebrate their half birthday.
Daily Schedule & Events
Song Time / Snack
Large Group Time
(songs/movement, rhymes, games, story, Bible lesson, activity)
Small Group Time
(lessons encompass all subjects through a scheduled rotation)
Curriculum: HighScope Preschool Curriculum and Growing Up Wild nature program
Children’s Chapel: Students meet monthly with one of our church staff to learn more about God and His love for us.
Family Field Trips
Christmas special music performance at Bethlehem Covenant Church
Birthday Party for Jesus
(for those students going on to Kindergarten)