- Chalmette Elementary
- Parent Handbook 2021-2022
Early Childhood Program
St. Bernard Parish Public Schools
Early Childhood Program
General Operating Information
The purpose of the St. Bernard Parish Public School Early Childhood Program is to provide universal pre-kindergarten classes to four-year-old children who are eligible to enter public school kindergarten the following year, including those students with disabilities, which reside in St. Bernard Parish. Students must turn four prior to September 30th, of the current school operating year.
The Early Childhood Program is funded through federal, state, and local monies from the following sources: Head Start, 8(g), LA 4, Educational Excellence Funds, Title I, Early Intervention and the St. Bernard Parish School System. The Early Childhood Program strives to offer the same high quality developmentally appropriate program to all participants regardless of the funding sources.
Instructional Program / Curriculum
The Louisiana Early Learning and Development Standards is the framework for building a quality, developmentally appropriate pre-kindergarten program and supports the Louisiana Readiness Definition. These standards serve as a guide to be used by St. Bernard Parish School System’s administrators, policy makers, directors, curriculum developers, teachers and parents.
The St. Bernard Parish Early Childhood Program provides a complete educational program directed toward the development of cognitive, social, emotional, physical, and communication skills in a manner and at a pace consistent with the needs and capabilities of the individual child.
The St. Bernard Parish Early Childhood Program has adopted the Creative Curriculum. It is a research based curriculum which supports interrelated development in the following domains:
Social/Emotional Creative Expression (Art, Music, Drama)
Language and Literacy Physical Science
Mathematics Cognitive Development
The Early Childhood Program provides developmentally appropriate integrated learning experiences. Integrated learning takes place when adults plan learning center activities and appropriately facilitate child experiences in the learning centers. These experiences support interrelated development of problem solving, critical thinking, communication, and social skills within a meaningful context for the child. The pre-kindergarten environment promotes meaningful engagement for learning through:
- a) Social interactions that promote cooperation, conflict resolution, and empathy for others.
- b) Play experiences to foster development and
organization of world knowledge.
- c) Language and Literacy experiences to foster development
of skills such as retelling stories; book/print concepts; developmental writing; phoneme discrimination, and sound manipulation.
- d) Mathematical experiences to foster development of concepts such as one-to-one correspondence, recognizing patterns, counting, comparing and positioning, and experiencing adults using numerals to record information that is meaningful to young children.
- e) Scientific experiences to foster development of concepts such as cause and effect, classification, and life cycles.
- f) Music and Creative Art
- g) Physical movement experiences in the indoor and outdoor environments to develop fine motor and gross motor skills.
Instructional Program Assessment and Reporting Practices
The Early Childhood Program utilizes a variety of assessment and reporting tools to record student growth, provide individualized instruction and to share information with parents.
- a) Portfolio assessment is a collection of work samples taken over time to demonstrate student growth by identifying the changes in performance.
- b) Benchmark assessments measure mastery of the Early Learning and Development Standards and are conducted at defined intervals throughout the school year.
- c) Formative assessments are standardized teacher administered
assessments that occur at three defined intervals throughout the
- d) An Individual Pupil Plan (IPP) is developed for each student and is reviewed with parents throughout the year. The IPP addresses individual student’s areas of strengths and weaknesses. Parents are expected to assume an active role in development of their child’s IPP.
Resource Coordination for Support Services
The St. Bernard Parish School System coordinates the provision of support services for all enrolled pre-kindergarten children. These services are intended to support maximum early education and care benefits to children so that they are well prepared for formal schooling, and therefore, more likely to experience later academic success.
- 1. Child Health and Mental Health Services
The school nurse works with the health department and other health professionals to conduct hearing and vision screenings and cursory dental checks during the school year and monitors the health and wellbeing of all children in the program. Any child with an identified physical or mental developmental health need is referred to the proper agency. Families are also provided information that will increase their knowledge of community resources such as TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families), Medicare, and LA CHIP (Louisiana Children’s Health Insurance Program).
- Parenting Skills and Child Development Knowledge
Knowledge of child development and involvement with their child’s educational experience is enhanced through a variety of informational parenting seminars, volunteer opportunities at the school, special activities/functions, and parent /teacher conferences. All students are administered a developmental screening instrument. The results of
the screening is discussed with parents and parents are provided with activities designed to help their child address skill areas.
- Parent/Teacher Conferences
Preschool teachers conduct one-on-one parent/teacher
conferences prior to the start of school. Preschool teachers
and assistants are available for regularly scheduled
conference days as well as parent initiated conferences.
- Adult Literacy
The school system works in coordination with public service providers to promote adult literacy. Parents/guardians are informed of all locally available adult education opportunities such as the GED program to increase literacy levels.
Classroom Management Plan
A classroom management plan is in place in all pre-kindergarten classrooms and is discussed with parents during orientation.
No form of demeaning language or corporal punishment (which includes but is not limited to paddling, striking, or hitting) is used with any child enrolled in pre-kindergarten.
Materials, Supplies, and Equipment
The St. Bernard Parish Early Childhood Program provides funding for all classroom furniture/equipment, materials, and supplies for all classes. Technology related equipment such as audio cassettes, digital cameras, and computers are also supplied.
All consumable materials are provided and replenished throughout the course of the year.
Parents/guardians/and caretakers are not required to pay for any materials and supplies for classroom usage (e.g., paper towels, napkins, toilet paper, and photographic film). Personal items (school bag, rest mat, blanket, extra clothes, etc.) must be provided by the parents and adhere to program guidelines.
NOTE: Parents/guardians/and caretakers may be required to pay for the replacement of materials/property that their child destroys.
Breakfast and lunch are part of the Early Childhood Program and all pre-kindergarten students are brought to the cafeteria for meals. If your child has special dietary concerns, please discuss them with the preschool staff. Head Start Program guidelines require that all students in Head Start designated classes eat food provided by the school cafeteria staff. Therefore, there is no need to bring food from home. Other funded four-year-old classes are allowed to bring an appropriate breakfast/lunch from home. If students choose to eat lunch in the school cafeteria, breakfast and lunch is free of charge due to the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP). This allows each student one breakfast and one lunch per day.
NOTE: It is absolutely essential that you make the staff aware of any allergies your child might have.
Consistent daily attendance is a critical component of the preschool program and is closely monitored by the teachers. According to state law “any child below the age of seven who legally enrolls in school shall also be subject to the provisions of the attendance statures”. In order for students to receive credit they cannot miss more than 14 days per school year. Please call the school when your child is absent and state the reason for the absence. A note from the parent is required to document each absence, and is required within 3 days upon returning to school. Excessive absences are reported to the Supervisor of Child Welfare and Attendance. Any student absent prior to a scheduled extra-curricular activity will not be allowed to participate in the activity.
Parents must report to the office for check-in and check-out. Only adults whose names have been authorized in writing on the school emergency cards will be allowed to check out pre-kindergarteners. Please follow all check out guidelines at your specific school site.
All pre-kindergarteners follow the St. Bernard School Board Uniform Dress Code
requirements. Please refer to the school site uniform requirements for specific
Transportation services are made available to all pre-kindergarten students to ensure that each child is present for the educational/instructional portion of the day. Bus changes cannot be made over the phone. All requests for transportation changes must be made in writing and all forms completed BEFORE a change is authorized. Refer to the Preschool Transportation Policy for specific guidelines regarding arrival, dismissal, and bus transportation requirements.